Ingeborg Marie Cannon
10/15/1931 - 9/16/2017
Ingeborg Marie Cannon was born October 15, 1931 in Passau, Germany to Maria and Wilhelm Wagner and lived in Germany until her marriage to George Cannon. Her parents named her Ingeborg Maria Bertha Wagner. She later would say that the Bertha was to please a rich aunt and she dropped the second middle name when she could. She had a younger brother who was sent to live with an aunt for a while because her parents couldn’t afford to care for both children. She was thrilled when their financial situation changed and her brother could once again live with her. Her earliest memories were pleasant, hiking in the German Alps with her dad, horseback riding with a girlfriend, and school – well, school for the subjects she liked. Sadly her life changed dramatically with World War II. She was evacuated to different locations outside Munich while her parents and younger brother remained in a city that was being bombed. After the war she returned to Munich, living with her parents in two rooms of what had been an apartment, sharing the kitchen and bathroom with another adult.
She met George Cannon, an American soldier stationed in Germany, and they married August 2, 1952. Marriage to a military husband meant moving. She had 17 addresses in 12 years. She also bore four children in six years: Jeanette, John, Mickey, and George. To say she was busy would be an understatement. When she learned George was being transferred to Germany again, she was concerned that she could have problems returning to the States again. She had three children by then. She moved in with George’s family while he went ahead to Germany. She studied and passed the requirements for American citizenship and joined him in Germany. It always amazed her that natural born citizens didn’t know what she’d had to learn to become a citizen.
In George’s later military career the family’s moves stopped. They bought a home near Point Defiance Park in Tacoma, Washington in 1962. George later went to Korea without the family for 18 months. A year and a half later he went to Viet Nam. He retired soon after that. During both deployments George and Inge wrote a letter to each other every day. We found those letters clearing out their Gig Harbor home, saved after all the years.
Once the children were out of the home … well, mostly out of the home, George and Inge built their dream home in Gig Harbor. They worked together to build their home, with Inge beside George as he built. Together they placed the huge roof beams; together nothing was impossible for them. They lived in that home together until January 2016 when Inge moved into Carlyn House.
Inge loved her garden and worked in it in one form or another until the last few years of her life. She would also knit – knitting sweaters for any of her kids or grandkids who wanted a sweater. When we were all full of sweaters and hats, she turned to knitting hats to donate to a variety of causes. She also managed to help her children raise their children – caring for children for extended periods. Sadly her later years were marked by mild dementia. It’s said that dementia robs us of our memory of our loved one. There were times this past few years that this seemed true. But it didn’t rob us of the memory of
- The woman who brought bouquets from her garden to the church she attended faithfully each Sunday, and to anyone who was in the hospital or nursing home;
- The woman who worked a full week and still took the time the first Thursday of each month to visit a woman in prison;
- The woman who designed and sewed a dinosaur costume that she wore to work on Halloween;
- The couple who always had nachos, Pepsis, and lemon cream pie on hand to serve when their kids came by;
- The woman who was always willing to listen to what was going on in your life with no regard to what was going on in her life;
- A stubborn German woman, who loved her children with her whole heart;
- The woman who loved the Lord and knew her children also loved the Lord;
- The woman who would drive for hours to bring you sacks of groceries during the winter when construction jobs were scarce, who always slipped a $20 into your pocket;
- The woman who was the “peacemaker”. No matter what the problem, she would spend hours helping you work through “who did what”, and to help you to see the other person’s side. No matter what the end result, you were always at peace after talking it through with mom.
She is survived by her four children, eleven grandchildren, and 21 great-grandchildren. She was preceded in death by her husband.