JoAnn McGinnis Cannon passed away peacefully in her home on June 2, 2023, after admonishing her loved ones that faith and family matter most and thanking God for holding her in the palm of His hand. JoAnn was born on June 21, 1939, in Salt Lake City. She grew up in a bungalow on Lake Street one block east of Liberty Park. Following in the footsteps of future prophets, she graduated from Hamilton Elementary, as had Gordon B. Hinckley, and East High, as had Russell M. Nelson. Most of her classmates attended the University of Utah, but she chose to enroll at BYU, where she joined the Val Norn Social Unit and served as its president. She spent a quarter at the newly opened Church College of Hawaii and developed a lifelong love of the Islands.
JoAnn met her future husband, Donald Quayle Cannon, at church on the first Sunday following his mission, and it was love at first sight. After JoAnn returned to BYU she and Don continued their courtship by meeting often at the home of his Grandpa Allred in Provo, who enthusiastically encouraged their romance. They married in the Salt Lake Temple on November 21, 1960. While Don completed a master’s degree at the U, she worked at a medical clinic until their son Brian was born. In 1962, they moved to Massachusetts for Don to continue graduate studies. There JoAnn gave birth to twin boys, Sean and Kelly. Her demanding little brood consumed every ounce of energy. The family moved to northern Virginia in 1965 where Don worked at the Pentagon. In 1967, they moved to beautiful Maine, where they spent six wonderful years. There she gave birth to two sons, Patrick and Brendon. JoAnn served as Primary chorister and Junior Sunday School coordinator in the Portland Ward. In 1973, the family moved to Orem after Don accepted a job at BYU. A few months later their miracle baby Erin was born. Desiring to set an example for her children, JoAnn reenrolled at BYU and obtained a bachelor’s degree in Family Science. In her north Orem ward she served for many years as a Primary teacher and Relief Society teacher and secretary. She developed a love of foreign lands while on a six-month Study Abroad in Vienna with her family in 1989. After moving in 1992 to the Stonewood Stake she served as ward and then stake Relief Society president, daunting callings in which she discovered her strong leadership abilities. As empty nesters, she and Don served at the MTC and in the Provo and Mt. Timpanogos Temples. She served missions with Don in the Nauvoo Temple and at BYU Hawaii and in Orem as Family History missionaries. It is a privilege, she emphasized, to serve in any church calling. She relished traveling abroad with Don, visiting Asia, Africa, Europe, South America and her favorite destination, the Holy Land. She loved flowers and gardening, was an immaculate housekeeper, and hosted wonderful holiday and birthday meals and celebrations. Her greatest source of pride and joy was her family.
JoAnn was preceded in death by her parents, Joe and Eunice McGinnis, and brother Bill. She is survived by Don, her sister Patsy, her 6 children and their spouses, 17 grandchildren and her great-grandchildren.
Funeral services will be held on Saturday, June 10, at 11 a.m. in the Stonewood Fourth Ward chapel, 450 South 100 West, in Orem, with a viewing from 9:30 to 10:30 a.m. Burial will be in the Orem City Cemetery.
Condolences for the family may be expressed on this page.
For those unable to attend in person, you may view the Services HERE