John Sexton Gannon

  • "Jack Gannon greeted his friends and his children's friends..."
    - Carol Hagen
  • "I will miss a dear friend. My heart goes out to Jack's..."
    - Mary Dickson

John Sexton Gannon

Nashville, TN

John (Jack) Sexton Gannon, age 87, died August 9, 2014 after a short illness.

John was preceded in death by his wife of 61 years, Diane Ditchy Gannon, who died in 2013. John was born in East Orange, NJ, and grew up in Royal Oak, MI, where he met Diane.

They moved to Nashville in 1966, where they raised their four children: Polly, John, Lanie, and Jamie. He has three grandchildren: Ki and Jack Ogilvie, and Amy Pieterse, and one great-granddaughter, Alexandra Barkhin. John is survived by three brothers and a sister: Peter, Terry, and David Gannon, and Suzanne Pryde.

John graduated from the University of Michigan, and later Wayne State University, where he received his JD degree in 1961. In Nashville, John was vice-president of employee relations at Werthan Industries, and was subsequently a partner in the law firm of Dearborn and Ewing. He also taught business and labor law at Vanderbilt's Owen Graduate School of Management, and became an arbitrator/mediator with the American Arbitration Association. John was a member of Hillwood Country Club and Kiwanis. At St. Henry Church John Gannon was a founding member of the Social Action Committee of Christians and Jews, an ecumenical initiative that played a significant role in the life of the Nashville community in the 1960s and 70s. After he established his private practice in law in 1991, he made it a priority to provide legal assistance and representation to individuals and groups who would otherwise have been voiceless and powerless. He used to say: "Even undocumented immigrants have rights."

The family will have a funeral mass at St. Henry Church on August 25th at 1 p.m., with reception following. Visitation will begin at 12 p.m.

Memorial donations may be made to: The Lost Boys Foundation of Nashville, P.O. Box 121917, Nashville, TN 37212 or online at

West Harpeth Funeral Home, 6962 Charlotte Pike, (615) 352-9400;

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West Harpeth Funeral Home
6962 Charlotte Pike
Nashville, TN 37209
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Published in The Tennessean on Aug. 17, 2014
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