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D. James Cannon dies at 78

Published: Friday, March 6 1998 12:00 a.m. MST

D. James Cannon, 78, former executive director for the Utah Travel Council and the man who invented Utah's phrase "The Greatest Snow on Earth" and who also named Lake Powell, died peacefully March 5, 1998, in Salt Lake City with his family nearby.

Cannon had been ill for 18 years. He was most recently honored in 1994 with a merit award from the University of Utah, where he graduated in 1940.He was well-known for his modesty and also for helping Utah as a hobby. He was instrumental in saving the Council Hall building by having it restored near the Utah State Capitol and also in preserving Sugar House Park.

Cannon had been a consultant for Robert Redford Enterprises at Sundance, for the Bank of Salt Lake and for the Deseret News. He also founded the Mormon Trail

Association in 1967 and was instrumental in the organization of the Mormon Pioneer Centennial and its cross-county trail designation in 1947.

At one time, he headed the U.S. Travel Association, Utah Trade Association and the Salt Lake County Planning and Zoning Commission.

Cannon served several terms as a representative in the Utah Legislature and had been a candidate for Utah Governor in 1964 and Salt Lake mayor in 1967.

A writer too, Cannon penned a history of Sugar House and was a former staff member of the Deseret News, where he wrote weekly tourism stories about Utah.

Besides being a Utah historian, Cannon also was an avid hiker and had extensive knowledge of the state's back country.

His wife, Elaine Cannon, served as general president of the LDS Church's Young Women organization from 1978-1984. She also is a former Deseret News columnist.

Funeral services will be Monday, March 9, noon at the Federal Heights Ward Chapel, 1300 E. Fairfax Road. Friends may call from 6-8 p.m., Sunday, March 8 at Larkin Sunset Lawn Mortuary, 2350 E. 1300 South. A family gathering will be held at 11:30 a.m., prior to services. Interment will be in the George Q. Cannon family plot in the Salt Lake City Cemetery.

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