Grace Gormley Cannan, 88, of Rosemont, an artist, gardener, baker, scholar, and mother of 13 who greeted her children each morning with quotes from
, died of dementia Sunday, Dec. 9, at Devon Senior Living Center.
Mrs. Cannan was born on March 14, 1924, in Dallas. She earned a bachelor's degree from Southern Methodist University.
She met Edward Leslie Cannan Jr. in a Latin class at the University of Texas at Austin. The couple married in the 1940s. They moved to the Philadelphia area in the 1960s, when her husband became a professor of history at Villanova University. He died in 2001.
Mrs. Cannan earned two master's degrees, in playwriting and set and costume design, at Villanova.
At her home, Mrs. Cannan did painting, sculpture, weaving, knitting, and gardening, while raising her children.
"She did all those things with her hands," said her daughter Francesca Mihok, adding that Mrs. Cannan also made clothing for her children.
Mihok said her mother baked bread from scratch daily and would greet the children each morning with quotes from Homer, such as, "Child of morning, rosy-fingered Dawn." Mihok said her mother also translated ancient Greek.
"She had 13 kids and still managed to do all the creative things she did while making us feel like she was always there for us," Mihok said. "I'm amazed that she did all the things she did for us."
In addition to her daughter, Mrs. Cannan is survived by daughters Jane, Gwynedd, Catherine, Cecilia, Alice, Clare Moore, and Teresa Offner; sons David, Paul, John and Marc, and 17 grandchildren. She was preceded in death by son Edward.