Rowland Morrell Cannon|
1914 - 2013
Rowland Morrell Cannon died on November 7, 2013, after a brief illness. He leaves a devoted spouse, Ellen Cannon, and a large and admiring family, who loved him for his dignity, his generosity, his wise judgment, his powerful intellect, and his unfailing solicitude. Always proud of his pioneer heritage, Rowland was born in Logan, on June 2, 1914, the son of Clawson Young Cannon and Winnifred Morrell Cannon. He spent his youth in Boise and then Provo, and at the age of 16 moved with his family to Ames, Iowa, where he attended Ames High School and later graduated from Iowa State College with a degree in engineering. In 1940 he married Elithe Fillmore. Though he earlier delivered newspapers and milk, from college summers until his retirement fifty years later, he worked for a single employer, the Utah-Idaho Sugar Company, later U and I Incorporated. Beginning as a utility laborer in the Belle Fourche factory and ultimately becoming President and Chief Executive, he spent many intervening years in "districts" in Utah, Idaho, Washington, Montana, and South Dakota, including Spanish Fork, Idaho Falls, Toppenish, and Chinook. This varied experience brought him to the general office in 1964 as Vice-President, Production, where he introduced innovations in farmland utilization, in sugar beet quality assessment, in year-round factory operation, and in data processing. Elevated to CEO in 1969, he led through years of crises in the beet sugar industry, transforming the company in the late seventies to a major cultivator of irrigated farmland, headquartered in Kennewick, Washington. There Rowland's vision was fulfilled of bringing water to hundreds of thousands of acres of what had been grazing and dry farming, utilizing hydropower from Columbia River dams to irrigate vast circular fields of sugar beets, potatoes, corn, hay, and apples.
He served on the executive committee of U and I and of ZCMI, on the board of directors of First Security Corporation and of Standard Insurance Company, on the board of trustees of the U.S. Beet Sugar Association and of the International Sugar Research Association, and on the advisory boards of the Schools of Business of University of Utah and University of Washington.
Upon his partial retirement in 1982, he returned to Salt Lake City, where he nursed his wife of 51 years, Elithe, through a painful and eventually fatal illness. He was appointed by the governor to the board of the Utah Technology Finance Corporation, where his managerial insight combined with his fascination with the latest technology to nurture a number of startups with venture capital provided by the state. In 1992 he married Ellen Nielsen Aldous Bartholomew, who joined him in over two decades of wedded happiness. In his retirement years, he indulged his lifelong affair with the automobile and cofounded the Bonneville Region of the Lincoln and Continental Owners Club, forming close friendships with individuals who shared his appreciation of Lincolns. He sponsored biennial summer family gatherings, each time in a carefully selected resort-at the Oregon beaches, the Minnesota Northwoods, Peaks Island in Maine, and several Rocky Mountain locations. Through them his grandchildren came to know and love him, despite their wide geographical dispersion.
Rowland was a Sigma Chi, a member of the Alta Club, the Timpanogos Club, and the Westerners and a member of the Rotary Clubs of Idaho Falls and Salt Lake. He was a devoted member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints and served in various church callings. He especially enjoyed his Priesthood and Sunday School teaching assignments.
Besides Elithe, Rowland was preceded in death by his son Rowland, Jr., grandson Mason Cannon, and brother Robert Y. Cannon. He is survived by his wife, Ellen; sister, Winnifred Jardine, of Salt Lake City; brother Clawson Y. Cannon, Jr. (Doris Cannon) of Flower Mound, Texas; sister-in-law Lee Cannon of Auburn, Alabama; daughter-in-law Heather Cannon of Bloomington, Indiana; son Douglas Cannon (Mary Ellen Sullivan) of Tacoma, Washington; daughter Maurine Taufer (John Taufer) of Glenwood Springs, Colorado; and grandchildren Hilary Anderson (Douglas Anderson) of Bloomington, Indiana; Ethan Cannon (Alison Takenaka) of Sammamish, Washington; Zachary Cannon (Judy Lin Cannon) of Albuquerque, New Mexico; Mary Cannon (Kelly Kirschenman) of Seattle, Washington; Sarah Cannon of Portland, Oregon; William Cannon (Rachel Milanez) of Ventura, California; Jake Taufer of Durango, Colorado; and Ashton Taufer of Glenwood Springs, Colorado; eight great-grandchildren; and numerous Fillmore in-laws. He is survived as well by the ten children, 42 grandchildren, and 34 great-grandchildren in the Aldous and Bartholomew families. For over twenty years, these families have loved, respected, and admired him as their "Grandpa Cannon" and have benefited from his encouragement and interest in their lives.
Funeral services will be held at noon on Saturday, November 16, at the Monument Park Stake Center, 1320 S Wasatch Drive, Salt Lake City, Utah. A viewing will be held on Friday, November 15, from 6:00-8:00 p.m. at the Larkin Sunset Lawn Mortuary, 2350 East 1300 South, and on Saturday from 10:30 to 11:40 a.m. at the Monument Park Stake Center prior to the funeral service. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to the Perpetual Education Fund.
Published in Salt Lake Tribune from Nov. 12 to Nov. 14, 2013