Sunday, July 06, 2008

Obituary: Francis Gannon - Class of 1940

MIDDLETON - Francis Gannon, age 83, passed away on Wednesday, July 2, 2008. He was born on Aug. 12, 1924, in Madison, the son of Richard Gannon and Anne (Olson) Gannon Darling. Francis graduated from Central High School in 1940 and enlisted in the U.S. Navy in January 1941, after the bombing of Pearl Harbor. He served in the Pacific Theater throughout the war years, then attended college at UW-Madison, Purdue University, and Princeton College. He rejoined the Navy and served in the Korean War, then did shore duty at UW-Madison N.R.O.T.C. where he met his wife, Marilyn. His next Navy stint was on the Charles F. Adams, the first guided missile ship, built in Bath, Maine, where he was fire control technician for the Tartar Missile System for six years. His last shore duty was a Dam Neck, Va., where he taught the Tartar Missile System and subsequently retired from the Navy after 30 years of active duty. He and his family returned to his home city of Madison, where he continued to be a devoted Badgers and Packers fan. Francis is survived by his wife, Marilyn; three daughters, DeAnn (Dr. Jay) Meythaler of Grosse Pointe Farms, Mich., Suzann (Steven) Mattson of Mequon, and Jennifer (Daniel) Foelker of Middleton; and six grandchildren, Nicholaus and Andrew Meythaler, Ryan, Kathryn, and Richard Mattson, and Ava Foelker. Francis was preceded in death by his sister, Anne Lucille Jones; a brother, Michael Gannon; and an infant daughter. Funeral services will be held at GRACE EVANGELICAL LUTHERAN CHURCH, 1 S. Rosa Road, Madison, at 2 p.m. on Monday, July 7, 2008, with the Rev. Theodore G. Gullixson presiding. Burial will be in Middleton Junction Cemetery, Middleton. Family and friends may call on Monday from 1 p.m. until the time of the service at the church. Gunderson West Funeral and Cremation Centers 7435 University Ave. (608) 831-6761

Originally published in the Wisconsin State Journal on July 6, 2008

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