By Laurie Stone
Irene Cannon was a quiet woman with the gift of giving.
Family members described Cannon as being the type of person you could count on when you were in need. She was said to have been a rock that was steady and consistent.
“When things went awry, she was someone you could depend on to love you through the tough times without admonishing your choices,” said Charolette Eaton, Cannon’s daughter.
Cannon died on Sept. 4 at the age of 82 in Clovis.
She was born on Dec. 22, 1921, in Portales, to Bessie and Luther C. Murphy.
Cannon grew up on the Murphy family homestead northwest of Elida. She attended grade school and a secondary school in a one-room schoolhouse that was within walking distance of her home. Once it closed, she then attended school at Elida where she graduated in 1939.
On June 21, 1942, she married Charles E. McClain, whom she had know since childhood. They made their home on his ranch south of Taiban.
To care for her ill father, Cannon left her husband, taking her son Rob with her to Elida. After his death, she moved to Portales where she worked at the Gal’s clothing store in the early 70s, while her son attended the university.
Family members said Cannon had a love for sewing, which flourished as she matured in years. She taught sewing classes when she worked at Fabric Mart. After several years, she went to work for a local fashion designer and had some of her work featured on the cover of The Dallas Apparel News.
Kara Grant, Cannon’s granddaughter, said she learned how to sew, garden and can food because of her grandmother.
“She was very creative. She helped me make all of my prom dresses, and even my wedding dress,” Grant said. She added Cannon was such a giving person that she did whatever was asked of her and then more.
Eaton described her mother as being extremely responsible saying, “she had perfected the little things in life.”
She always set a really pretty table which made dining that much more pleasurable,” she said.
A friend for 30 years, Irene Cannon met Donna Cannon through a common bond which was a love for sewing. She said Cannon was one in a million and that you didn’t meet people like her very often. “She was an inspiration to me because she was the type of person that you would want to pattern your own life after.”
Looking back on her mother’s life, Eaton described Cannon as resembling a fruit tree in season.
“When mother was with us, I viewed her as if I were standing next to the trunk of a tree, not seeing the whole picture, rather than viewing it in its entirety. It was sometimes hard for me to see all the good she did, but at her passing, I can now see all the fruit she left behind.”