James R. Cannon Jr.

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MERIDEN - Following a courageous five-year battle with brain cancer, James R. Cannon Jr., "Coach" passed away at his home, 385 Center St. in Meriden on Thursday, Jan. 12, 2012.

Born in Meriden on Sept. 28, 1960, James was the proud and only son of Brenda (Anderson) and James R. Cannon Sr. James was a 1978 graduate of H.C. Wilcox Regional Technical High School in Meriden. Inspired by his father, his concentration was in automotives. He was also a four-year member of the varsity basketball team under the legendary coach, Joe Schiopucie. After completing high school, James began his career as a tool and dye maker at Pratt & Whitney where he worked for several years. He then transitioned into a position at Herrick & Cowell and ultimately retired from B&F Machine where he worked for 19 years. In addition to his full-time job, James dedicated his spare time to coaching basketball in various capacities, including, Meriden fall and summer leagues, Boys & Girls Club leagues, but most importantly coaching his only son's basketball career from St. Mary's School to his alma mater, H.C. Wilcox Regional Technical High School where he served as assistant coach and later became head coach through 1998. James was a lover of people. He will be remembered for always sharing a smile and exchanging words with anyone who crossed his path. He lived his life for his family and always put them first. He could often be heard boasting about his children and their many accomplishments. James enjoyed family vacations, BBQ's, visiting with his parents, eating, cooking, being the life of the party, and fixing things around the house. Most importantly, James lived to teach life lessons to-so continue to live, laugh and love in his legacy.

James is survived by his loving and devoted high school sweetheart of 37 years, Rosemarie (Dillon) Cannon and their four children, James R. Cannon, III, Tasha M., Karess A., and Kandis M. Cannon. He was so proud of and lived for them. He is also survived by his four grandchildren, whom he adored, Jaydakus and Zuliana Cannon, Corey "CJ" Smith Jr., and Maylani Alvarado; his loving parents, Brenda and James R. Cannon Sr.; his four sisters, Felicia Bullock, Dorene Robles (Nelson), Gina and Nikki Cannon; a host of aunts, uncles and cousins who will remember his sweet and loving nature. He is also survived by sister and brother in-laws who were proud to call him a brother. Fun, loving Uncle Jim/James is loved by many nieces and nephews. He leaves behind his closest and dearest friends who he considered his brothers, Darius Ferreira, John D. Preston "Peaches", Michael Mack, Mike Anziano "White Boy", and Cecil Este, plus many other friends, neighbors and acquaintances who are happy to have known him. He leaves behind his dog Bully- the true meaning of a man's best friend who accompanied him on his daily walks, porch sits and duck feedings over the past two years. James is predeceased by his grandparents, Cleo and Sarah Cannon, Robert and Dorothy Anderson; his mother-in-law, Myrtle "Mama" Dillon; his uncles, Lorenzo Stringer, Earl Cannon; his aunts; Ruthie Knox, Nerlene Mills; his cousins, Crystal Mills, Lawrence Mabery, and his beloved dog, Chief.

The family of James R. Cannon Jr., will greet friends and family at Faith Center Church, 22 Crown St., Meriden, on Friday, Jan. 20. Viewing will be held from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m., followed by a funeral service at 11 a.m. Burial will be in Walnut Grove Cemetery, 817 Old Colony Rd., in Meriden. In lieu of flowers, a trust will be set up in his name for the Meriden Boys & Girls Club. Make donations payable to the Meriden Boys & Girls Club, and send them to Karess Cannon, Esq. at 385 Center St. Meriden, CT 06450 until the trust has been established. Service by Howard K. Hill Funeral Services, 1287 Chapel St., New Haven, CT. To leave a message of comfort to the Cannon Family visit our website.
Published in The Record-Journal on Jan. 18, 2012