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1938-2010 MISSOULA –  William T. “Bill” Cannon, 71, of Missoula, died at his home on Thursday, May 6, 2010.

He was born on June 2, 1938, the second in birth of triplets, in Missoula to Clifford and Irene Ruth (McDonald) Cannon.

He grew up and received his education in the Stevensville school system, graduating from high school in 1956. He was active in Scouts as well as athletics and other school activities. He worked as a pin-setter at the bowling alley and on haying crews in the area. He also worked for F&S National Lead Co., loading ore cars and transported trucks at the Greenough  Baritt plant.

Bill attended Carroll College from 1956 to 1960, graduating in history and political science. During this time, Bill worked summers as a transportation agent for Yellowstone Park Co. at Old Faithful Inn. While at Carroll he met his life’s love and mate, Patty, who was in nurse’s training at Carroll.

Bill taught for the military from 1960 to 1962 in Adak, Alaska. On July 8, 1961, Bill and Patty Calhoun were married at St. Mary’s Church in Stevensville. They returned to Alaska to work in Anchorage.

Bill was accepted by Missoula School District No. 1 and taught for the next 32 years: Willard Public School for 20 years, Roosevelt Attendance Center for eight years and at Washington Middle School for four years. During his teaching years, Bill also coached boy’s football, basketball and softball, and boy’s and girls track, as well as girl’s Powder Puff Football and some intramural sports and AAU Track.

During many summer breaks, Bill greatly enjoyed fighting wildfires for the Blackfoot Forest Protective Association, where he developed many lifelong friendships and untold stories.

In 1988, he was the proud recipient of the Eddie Chinski Award from the Ray Rocene Organization for which he was most grateful. His gratitude also goes to all the athletes and students whose lives he was privileged to be a part of.

After retirement from the school district, Bill continued with work mowing lawns at the UM Golf Course and driving school bus for Beach Transportation.

Bill was preceded in death by his grandparents, William E. and Maud Cannon; adoptive grandparents, John and Edna White; his parents Clifford and Irene Cannon; stepmother Pearl Cannon; sister Mary Ann, (1938); his twin brother Jack (2004); and his own beloved son David Matthew (1984).

Surviving is his true life’s mate, wife Patty of 48 years; sons, John (Sarah) Cannon and Tim (Lisa) Cannon; three grandchildren, Cyrus John, Trevor David and Kaelee Brieanne.

Also surviving is his sister-in-law Carole (Paul) Auzqui; niece Kirstie; nephew Charles (Alicia) and children Clayton and McKenna Auzqui, Sam Auzqui and John (Wendy) Auzqui.

Memorial Mass will be held on Tuesday, May 11, at 11 a.m. at St. Anthony’s Catholic Church with Father Gary Reller officiating.  Burial will take place at the Old St. Mary’s Catholic Cemetery in Missoula at 2:30 p.m.

The Whitesitt Funeral Home in Stevensville is in charge of arrangements.

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