SUE JANE CANNARD
January 16, 1931 ˜ August 31, 2019
Sue Jane Cannard, loving wife and mother of seven, passed away in Vancouver, WA, on August 31, 2019, at the age of 89.
Sue grew up in Vancouver, the oldest daughter of deaf parents. She was called on at an early age to help her siblings learn how to speak and often translated for her parents. These early responsibilities helped prepare her for a life of service to others.
She was popular among her peers, graduating from Vancouver High in 1948 as President of the Girls League. Sue attended Clark Community College and Western Washington College of Education (now Western Washington University) earning a teaching certificate.
She married Don Cannard in 1950 and returned to Vancouver where she taught 6th grade while beginning a family. Sue was encouraging, loving and kind, able to see the good in each child, gently nudging them in a positive direction, never imposing her wishes. She embraced being a mother, imparting wisdom, hugs and common sense along the way. She encouraged a love of music and performance in all of her children (clarinet, guitar, piano, trombone, flute, drums), cheering them on in each endeavor.
In the early 60’s, Sue and Don purchased 90 acres on the Lewis River where the family spent many pleasant summers living out of a trailer and an old shack. Don had a great sense of adventure and love for the outdoors. Sue was willing to follow his passion for nature as they took the family backpacking in the Goat Rocks Wilderness as well as the Olympic National Forest.
One year they hosted an exchange student from Belgium, Chantal Colmant, who became a lifelong extended family member.
In the early 70s, Sue returned to school, completing her bachelor’s degree through the University of Portland. She next received a master’s degree in special education from Portland State. She taught deaf and blind students at the Washington State School for the Blind for 17 years. Under Sue’s loving, supportive direction, students experienced life and learned the tools for successful independent living.
In 1995, Sue and Don purchased a beach house in Cape Meares OR where they played host to family reunions, and a number of retreat weekends for outdoor groups.
Sue was an advocate of community involvement, such as the PTA and Boy Scouts. Her contributions to the community grew over time as she resolved to help Clark County develop into a place that was both likeable and livable. Well-read and vocal, she advocated for trailheads and parks to give people increased access. She crossed paths with Jay Inslee and Mike Lowery on a project off of Lower River Road that became a lovely place for everyone to enjoy.
Sue was founding Co-President with her husband Don of the Vancouver Chapter of Audubon. She also served as President of The Vancouver Garden Club, and The Minnehaha Social Club. She was tapped to serve as a member of the Washington Recreation Coalition, which funded grants and lobbied for open spaces and parks across the state. She was an active participant and member of Columbia Land Trust and Friends of the Columbia River Gorge. In 2001, Sue received the Clark County Woman of Achievement Award.
Sue was preceded in death by her husband, Donald Cannard; sister, Ann Larson; and brother, Joe Wondrack. She is survived by brother, John Wondrack; and sister, Jean Hamilton; her seven children: Brian (Susan), Newcastle, WA; Bruce (Lorie), Kennewick, WA; Cheryl (Dan), Kennewick, WA; Chris (Tina), Beth Zukowski (Alex) Salem, OR; Steve, Vancouver, WA; and Jennifer (Ron), Sisters, OR; as well as 13 grandchildren and 14 great-grandchildren.
The family would like to express appreciation to Hospice and Divine Health Care for their compassionate care and guidance.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Columbia Land Trust, Chinook Trail Association or Vancouver Audubon Society.
A mass and subsequent memorial will be held at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church in Vancouver, WA at 10:00 on October 11th.
Please sign her guest book @ www.columbian.com/obits