Robert Cannon Bennion
1927 ~ 2013
Robert Cannon Bennion, age 86, died from effects of myelodysplastic syndrome on April 17, 2013. Over the last few days of his life he was torn between wanting to stay with his wife and family and also beginning to welcome a release from illness, weakness, and the inability to work on such projects as his yard and his novel.
He was born in Salt Lake City, Utah, on January 10, 1927, to Glynn Sharp Bennion and Lucille Morris Cannon Bennion. He was the youngest of five children. He wrote, "I grew up in two worlds," and "insofar as I know, I never reconciled those two worlds. I remained deeply rooted in each." He lived in Salt Lake City until he was 11 years old. He then lived and worked on his father's homestead ranch in Utah's west desert for several years, either over the summers or year-round. He valued both worlds of his youth, and although as an adult he lived and worked in the city, he continued "to want to do something with the wilds, to the wilds, of the wilds, and in the wilds" for the rest of his life.
He attended East High School in Salt Lake City for one year, earning enough credits to graduate. He served an LDS mission to Navajo, Hopi, Tewa, Zuni, and Apache peoples from 1947-49. He was deeply interested in the stories he was told and the ceremonies he witnessed, and these experiences and relationships with Native peoples remained active in his soul throughout his lifetime. Following his missionary service he attended Brigham Young University for two years. In 1952 Bob was drafted by the U.S. Army and deployed to Japan and Korea for two years. Afterward he returned to BYU and in 1956 completed a B.A. in psychology with minors in physiology, anatomy, and Russian.
He married Francine Russell, whom he met at BYU, in 1956 in the Cardston, Alberta LDS temple. He and Francine then moved to Ohio, where they each completed graduate degrees at Ohio State University
: he earned a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology. From 1961 through 1997, Bob was an award-winning professor of psychology and Honors Colloquia at BYU, and for much of that time he also maintained a psychotherapy private practice. Bob was active in the LDS Church throughout his life, and served as a BYU Branch President, then in a BYU Stake Presidency, and later in an MTC Branch Presidency, and as a temple veil worker, among other forms of Church service.
Bob was preceded in death by his parents and by two brothers, Colin and Owen, and is survived by his brother George and sister Eileen; by his wife, Francine; his daughter, Lynne; his son James Roald and wife Gay Lynn Chisholm, and their children, Ryan (Annie), Adam, Emily, and Blake; and his son Brett and wife Daniela Johnson and their children Annika, Bronté, and Tarquin. Bob is also survived by his sisters-in-law Sergene, Joye, and Lenore and his many nieces and nephews, all of whom he loved greatly.
Family, friends, and associates are invited to a reception with light refreshments 6:00 to 7:15 p.m Thursday evening, April 25 at the Oak Hills Ninth Ward church, 2000 N. 1500 E. in Provo, Utah. A memorial service will follow in the chapel at 7:30 p.m.
Condolences may be sent to the family at: www.tributecenterutah.com