Ray Cannon, 91, of Kennett Square, a retired Scott Paper Co. executive and decorated World War II veteran, died of a stroke Thursday at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital.
Mr. Cannon graduated from Upper Darby High School. After earning a bachelor's degree from Drexel University in 1939, he joined his father at Scott Paper before enlisting in the Army in 1940.
During World War II, Mr. Cannon was initially assigned as an aide to a general. He wanted to see action, his family said, and volunteered to participate in the invasion of North Africa. On Nov. 8, 1942, he led soldiers onto beaches near Oran, Algeria. The key city was captured days later and he was awarded a Bronze Star for valor. Mr. Cannon was with an armored division that landed on Normandy on the third day of the D-Day invasion in 1944, and later fought in the Rhineland and participated in the liberation of Luxembourg and in the liberation of Nazi work camps in Germany.
Several years ago, he returned to Luxembourg with his wife, Edith Pusey Cannon, and visited the cemetery where many of his comrades were buried. People were grateful for what the Americans had done, his wife said, and "he was treated like a god."
After his discharge as a major, Mr. Cannon returned to Scott Paper and worked in finance and computer operations.
He retired from Scott in 1980 and then worked part time for the Delaware County Economic Planning Commission. His civic involvement included serving on the Springfield school board in Delaware County and on the board of the Media Library. He remained active with Scott Paper's retired executives' service organization and was former treasurer of Reformation Lutheran Church in Media.
He enjoyed travel, Bible reading, history, a good discussion, and family gatherings at his lake house near Milford, Pa., his son William said.
In addition to his wife of 37 years and son, Mr. Cannon is survived by sons Stephen and Jeffrey; a daughter, Lorraine C. Patterson; stepdaughters Rebecca Callahan, Martha Hashem, and Amy E. Betts; 10 grandchildren; one great-grandson; a brother; and his former wife, C. Frances Shaver.
A memorial service will be at 11 a.m. tomorrow at Calvary Lutheran Church, 730 S. New St., West Chester, Pa. 19382. Memorial donations may be made to the church.