Mr. Julian David Cannon, 95, of Tifton passed away on Wednesday, February 26, 2020 at Tift Regional Medical Center.
Graveside services will be held Saturday, February 29, 2020 at 1:00 P.M. in Oak Ridge Cemetery with Rev. Keith Norris officiating. No formal visitation will be held.
Mr. Cannon was born May 26, 1924 in Treutlen County, Georgia to the late John David Cannon and Annie Mae Giddings Hall. In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by his daughter Julie Cannon who died October 28, 1989 and two brothers Jack Cannon and Gene Cannon. Mr. Cannon was a member of Eastside Baptist Church of Tifton. He was a veteran of the United States Army and a retired principal from Tift County Board of Education. Mr. Cannon attended Norman Junior College and graduated from Georgia Teachers College. He began his career in Tifton in 1956 at Tifton High School, teaching social studies and English courses, and serving as a counselor and an assistant principal before being named principal of Tifton Junior High School in 1960. After retiring in 1980, he served as headmaster of Tiftarea Academy, as a substitute teacher at Tift County High School and as a half-time assistant principal at J. T. Reddick. Colleagues thought of him as a man with a dry sense of humor, yet one who insisted that teachers and administrators follow the rules, while former students remembered him as a teacher who made every student feel good about him/herself.
According to an article published in the Tifton Gazette on April 15, 2014, two members of the Tifton High School Class of 1958, Carla Miles and Marianna Keesee, have special memories of Julian Cannon. Miles commented, “Julian Cannon was a very special person to me because he always made me feel so special. I realized later that it wasn’t just me he made feel special. He made everyone feel that way. He cared for the students, and he made us all feel good about ourselves.”
Keesee recalls that as the newest teacher, Cannon was made junior class sponsor –the most difficult non-curriculum job – especially because the juniors were responsible for staging the junior/senior prom. Keesee remembers that Cannon worked hundreds of man-hours after school alongside junior class members, creating thousands of pink crepe paper cherry blossoms, and transforming Gressette Gym at ABAC into an oriental garden, complete with mannequins dressed as Geisha girls and a fierce dragon, drawn and painted by Cannon.
Mr. Cannon is survived by his wife, Janet Bowen Cannon of Tifton; two sisters Joanne Sumner of Tifton and Carolyn Cannon Gay of Thrift, along with numerous nieces and nephews.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Tift County Foundation for Educational Excellence, PO Box 714, Tifton, Ga. 31793. In the Tifton Gazette article, the Executive Director, Mike Brumby said the Julian Cannon Chair of Reading and Writing Skills Enhancement was established in 2014 as a gift from his wife, Janet Bowen Cannon. The goal of the chair is helping students improve language, grammar, reading and writing skills to ensure their future success in the work force. This is the 12th academic chair of the foundation. The purpose of the program is to provide exceptional opportunities for Tift County public schools to strengthen and enrich education in specific disciplines.
Albritton Funeral Directors is in charge of the arrangements.