Joyce Cannon

Joyce E. Cannon of Falmouth, who was born in 1960, died May 8 following a yearlong battle with metastatic lung cancer.

Ms. Cannon, who became legally blind during the second half of her life, did not let that diagnosis keep her from continuing to maintain an active lifestyle and serve as a volunteer in the community.

Over the years, Ms. Cannon had worked in a variety of occupations. She had been a light and sound technician for rock concerts, a semi-trailer truck driver, the first woman in the state to work on the press floor of a large commercial printer, a computer tech, a software writer, a dog trainer and a department store clerk.

She was a hospital volunteer and a member of VIPS, having donated her time to the Falmouth Public Schools.

She enjoyed reading and gardening.

It was during 1986 that she faced becoming legally blind due to retinitis pigmentosa. She attended Perkins School for the Blind and The Carroll Center for the Blind to learn braille as well as skills such as walking with a cane.

She contacted Fidelco Guide Dog Foundation, based in Bloomfield, Connecticut, and was trained to use a guide dog. In the ensuing years she was guided by the German shepherds Ivan, Quincy, Metoo and Walter; Kiwi was her final guide dog.

In May 2002, she was given an Outstanding Volunteer award at the annual Volunteers in Public Schools recognition dinner: "Joyce Cannon and her guide dog, Metoo, were chosen by Falmouth High School. The high school guidance department has a lot of filing to be done, and because most of it is confidential, using student and parent volunteers is not possible. Ms. Cannon and Metoo have filled this need. … [Joyce and Metoo] come in twice a week to file and organize in each of the counselor's offices and in the records room."

Additionally, Ms. Cannon had volunteered in Meeting Challenges Week at Mullen-Hall Elementary School and also she and Metoo met with the alternative education class at the high school to explain exactly what her visual impairment was.

She leaves her partner, Alan T. Sisson of Falmouth; her brother, Edward J. Cannon of Bourne; her mother, Janet M. Brooks of Falmouth; her nephew, Endicott Tilton; her great-nephew, Jacob Sprague; and her guide dog Kiwi.

She was preceded in death by her stepfather, Edwin D. Brooks Jr., who died in 2002.

A memorial service is planned for Saturday, June 8, at 10:30 AM at John Wesley United Methodist Church, 270 Gifford Street in Falmouth.

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