John Reagh Cannon
October 1944 to May 2023
John Cannon, a dear husband, father, grandfather, brother and friend, passed away peacefully surrounded by his loved ones at home in Vancouver on May 16, 2023.
Born in Halifax, Nova Scotia, John was the third son of William Reagh Cannon and Cassie Ruth Llewellyn. The family relocated to Victoria, BC where John lived with his Mother, two older brothers (Roger Cannon and Alan Cannon) and his younger sister (Harriet Ruthie Pepper). In his late teenage years, John moved to Prince George, where he trained and worked as a heavy-duty mechanic. A few years later, he moved to Vancouver, working as an auto-mechanic for the Woodwards Store at Oakridge. Having a natural ability to connect with people, John moved into appliance sales at Woodwards, quickly establishing a successful sales career. This is also where he met the love of his life Mitzi Heed, a fellow Woodwards employee at the time, who wore short mini-skirts and evidently stole his heart.
Mitzi and John wed and moved to Tsawwassen where they started their family and John began his entrepreneurial journey building homes. While raising his two children, Darren and Leslie, he transitioned into a real estate career selling homes in Tsawwassen before joining his brother-in-law, Kelly Heed, in Commercial Real Estate with Colliers International. John became an award- winning Realtor, well-respected by colleagues and clients alike. In 1999, John left Colliers to pursue a dream of building a home on the water on Pender Island. He worked tirelessly on this home. It was finely crafted, just as he had imagined it, and it became the focal point for family gatherings.
John’s health became paramount in 2001 when he was diagnosed with Multiple Myeloma. A strong-minded fighter, he did not allow his health diagnosis to limit his life experiences, and he took every opportunity to live a full life past the two-year life expectancy. Under the expert care of his Oncology team, John thrived and continued to cherish time with friends, family and in particular, his four grandchildren – his first born granddaughter, Lily Stewart (Leslie Cannon/Rodney Stewart); his first grandson, Nicholas Cannon (Darren/Kelly Cannon); followed by Marcus Stewart and Clive Cannon. These four children became everything to John. He watched them grow; provided valuable lessons and support that only the best Grandfather could give. He lived for watching their sports and hearing stories of their successes and failures. A daily call, text or email became the norm to stay connected with his family and friends.
John was a stellar example of a hard working citizen, exhibiting optimism and strength in every aspect of life. He saw each day as an opportunity to grow, learn and excel. This is the legacy that he strived to share – work hard, play harder was his motto. “Take care of the daily activities and the successes will come”, he often said. His serious, high-achieving nature was well-balanced with humour, exhibited right up until the day he passed.
John enjoyed the company of an extended circle of close friends which also provided great content for stories of their fun times together. Whether to play a specific golf course, on a ‘boys-trip’ or with Mitzi and family, John had a strong inclination for travel.
John also had a passion for woodworking, setting up his workshop with every tool imagined. Over the last couple years, John kept busy combining woodworking with resin art and creating charcuterie boards and furniture which he proudly gave away to loved ones.
Having a strong desire to give back to those who supported him over the years, John became an active donor for the VGH Hospital Foundation. Mentoring young people, like-minded individuals that crossed his path, as well as those that found themselves in similar health- challenges became an equal passion for John.
John and his family wish to thank the team of Oncologists at Vancouver General Hospital, led by Dr. Stephen Nantel, and the hospital care workers that assisted him through his lengthy health journey.
A Celebration of Life for John will be held on Thursday, June 1, 2023 at 3:00pm at Shaughnessy Golf & Country Club, 4300 SW Marine Drive, Vancouver, BC.
Please consider making a donation in memory of John to support the Hematology Research Program with VGH & UBC Hospital Foundation. Donate online at join.vghfoundation.ca/jcannon , or by calling 604.875.4676, or by mailing a cheque made out to VGH & UBC Hospital Foundation to 190-855 West 12th Ave, Vancouver, V5Z 1M9.