District Judge Cannon passes at 76

Retired 41B District Court Judge William H. Cannon, Macomb County's longest-serving jurist, died March 24 at the age of 76.

A memorial mass was held Thursday at St. Peter Catholic Church, 95 Market St. in Mount Clemens.

Cannon died at Martha T. Berry Medical Care Facility in Mount Clemens. The cause of death was not released but he had been ill for several years.

He had served 29 years on the bench when he retired in 2005.

Cannon stepped down amid an investigation into mismanagement at the Clinton Township court and he eventually pleaded no contest to one count of embezzlement. Jail time was deferred because Cannon was diagnosed with dementia.

The Detroit native was a 1961 graduate of Detroit College of Law and had been in private practice before seeking election to 41B District Court.

He was a past president of Michigan District Judge's Association.

As a community leader, Cannon was involved with many organizations. He supported Care House, was a co-founder of Turning Point and received several awards for his work with Mothers Against Drunk Driving, (MADD), and the Kiwanis Club.

One of his projects involved the creation of a cook book, with recipes offered by his court staff, which was sold at the court to raise money for hardship cases he heard in his court room.

Cannon is survived by his wife Peggy; children, Linda (Dan) Byrge of St. Clair Shores, Susan (Don) Hassig of Clinton Township, Thomas Cannon of Fraser, Timothy (Anna) Cannon of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Meaghan Cannon and Matthew Cannon both of Clinton Township; twin sisters, Jean Zilinsky and Joan (Gordon) Archer; and grandchildren, Monica and Glenn.

Memorial contributions may be addressed to the Alzheimer's Association.

Published: Fri, Apr 1, 2011

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