People were often heard to refer to him as “your honor,” but even if he had not served as a judge, Stewart Cannon still deserved that courtesy. The retired Washington County Sessions Court judge was a true gentleman, an accomplished pianist, a fair jurist and good friend to all who knew him.
Cannon, who died Monday at age 84, will also be remembered as someone who brought joy and understanding into the lives of those he encountered. Janet Vest Hardin, an attorney and long-time friend of Cannon and his family, said the judge’s passing was like a “little light went out in the world.”
Hardin also told Press staff writer Becky Campbell she admired Cannon for his dapper dress and complete devotion to his wife, Norma Jean.
“I don’t think there was a nicer, kinder, fairer man on the planet,” Hardin said. “He truly saw the best in everyone and he just hated when he saw injustices.”
Cannon retired in 1998 after serving 28 years on the bench. Retired Session Court Judge John Kiener served with Cannon for those last 18 years. In all that time, Kiener said this week, the two never argued. That’s quite a remarkable achievement for colleagues from opposing political parties.
“He was an absolute committed Democrat and I was an absolute committed Republican,” Kiener said.
We agree with Hardin’s assessment of Judge Cannon’s legacy: “Truly, without a doubt, there was not anyone like him before and I don’t think there will be again.”