Dr. James Cannon, 90, dies

Lexington, KY — Dr. James D. Cannon, 90, of Moline, Ill., died Nov. 26, 2020, at Heartland Healthcare, Moline.

Born in Huntley, Minn., he proudly served our country in the Army during the Korean War, earning a Silver Star, two Bronze Stars, and a Purple Heart.

He was united in marriage to Edith Short on June 18, 1955. She preceded him in death on June 2, 1958. He later married Jeannette LaPiana on July 2, 1960. She preceded him in death on Aug. 4, 1999. He was partners with Mary Van Roo, who preceded him in death in 2015.

Dr. Cannon graduated with a physical education degree from the University of Illinois and from dental school at Loyola University, Chicago. He practiced pediatric dentistry with his brother John and others in the Quad Cities for 34 years (1960-1994).

He was a devoted harness racing enthusiast who owned horses with trainer Leon DeJulius, racing at Quad City Downs and the Chicago tracks. When DeJulius died, Doug Murray took over as his trainer.

Dr. Cannon loved everything related to the racetrack and was an amateur driver (with his bombproof trotter, Super Cruiser) before it was cool. He helped Murray train on Wednesdays (his day off) and Saturdays and made many trips to the fairs and the Lexington sales. They raced at Quad City Downs and the Illinois/Iowa fairs in the 1980s.

He was also the preferred dentist of horsemen, many times accepting no payment. He set up a dental trailer on the grounds of Quad City Downs and helped improve the lives of the backstretch workers.

Dr. Cannon lived an incredible and well-rounded life. He was a world champion gymnast on the trampoline. He had been the dean of the Latin School of Boys in Chicago and also was a circus clown.

Survivors include his children, Dr. John (Deborah Bailey), Dr. Christopher (Chantel), Dr. Daniel (Heydin Otero), Dr. Anna (Michael) Schwister, Dr. Matthew and Patrick (Christine); 21 grandchildren; brother, Dennis; and many nieces and nephews. In addition to his wives, he was preceded in death by his parents, Fred and Mabel; son, Joseph; and siblings, Fredrick Jr., Dr. John, and Helen Haskins.

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