Peggy Cannon remembered for her strong family relationships

Peggy Cannon is being remembered as a proper lady, the kind of woman who, in lovely handwriting, penned letters to her daughter every week.

The 98-year-old, who was born in England, enjoyed five cups of tea every day, a habit that very well could have led to her longevity, her daughter Sharon Cannon Dashiell said.

Hilda “Peggy” Taylor Cannon died March 7. Before the funeral, Dashiell gathered with her sister and two brothers and shared memories of their mother.

Son John Cannon, president of the Wicomico County Council, said she  was “always pleasant in nature and proud of her English heritage.”

“There’s a lot of tradition there. She came here from England as a war bride. She met my dad in the USO and they were married in England. Dad was in the U.S. Army,” he said about his father, Robert Ennalls Powell Cannon, who is deceased.

“She had a very good sense of humor. We learned by her nature how to treat people, with respect. She didn’t have a disciplinarian nature about her,” he said.

In her obituary, the children wrote that their mother’s “amazing memory made Peggy the person you called for facts of history and etiquette, long before the Internet arrived.”

“She was a mother and grandmother first and always a good friend. She will be remembered for her inviting cups of tea mixed with conversation and advice, and her brownies, scones and cakes, delivered to friends by hand, even in her nineties,” they wrote.

Daughter Sally F. Cannon-Brown of Park City, Utah, received her mother’s hand-written letters weekly for years.

“I wrote back, but not every week. She told me about what was happening in Salisbury, what was interesting in the community,” she said.

When she had a child and turned to her mother for help caring for a baby with colic, the Cannon matriarch suggested endurance and “hanging in there.”

Son Bob Cannon, an attorney, remembered being in law school, facing two upcoming exams and feeling overwhelmed. He telephoned his mother. “She said, ‘Oh, here’s what you should do. Take two aspirin and drink some hot milk and start fresh in the morning. When you wake up, you’ll feel a lot better,’” he said.

It’s true that mothers know best, because it worked.

Daughter Sharon Cannon Dashiell remembered her mother got along well with all her children’s friends.

Born in London, Peggy Cannon studied at Badminton School in Bristol. When she was 22, she started working in the War Office in London and was there during World War II, when London was bombed.

Her daughters recalled that she never lost her English accent. When they started school, they used  British spellings and pronunciations. Teachers corrected them, saying the word “tomato,” should not be pronounced “to-mah-to.”

Dashiell said when twin brothers John and Bob were born, she could tell them apart. “I don’t know how, but I could,” she said.

“That’s because I was better looking,” Bob Cannon joked.

Dashiell said her mother was “willing to do anything and go anywhere.”

“She was a voracious reader. She read two newspapers every day and, probably, four books every month. She supported all of us,” she said.

“She was my best friend my whole life, by choice.”

 

Reach Susan Canfora at scanfora@newszap.com.

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