Joann E. Canning, Assistant Dean of Accommodation from 1998-2007, died on January 16, 2016, in Marion, Massachusetts.
(The following was published in the Portland Press Herald/Maine Sunday Telegram from Jan. 20 to Jan. 21, 2016):
Joann Elizabeth Canning, 46
FREEPORT – Joann Elizabeth Canning passed away suddenly and unexpectedly on Jan. 14, 2016, at her home. Joann was born on March 11, 1969, to James Kinsey Jackson and Carol Elizabeth Hudgins Jackson in Falls Church, Va., and moved to Rockville, Md., as a baby.
Throughout her childhood years, she spent many summers on her beloved aunt’s horse ranch in Aubrey, Texas, where she developed a deep and longlasting passion for horses, and became an expert rider on an equestrian team. Along with her gift for riding, Joann was a talented athlete in skiing, sailing, swimming, tennis, basketball, and her favorite, soccer. She was a goalie and though she was petite, she was feisty and her size never hindered her ability to compete with the best.
After she graduated from Wootton High School ’87, she attended West Virginia Wesleyan and graduated in 1992 with a BS degree in political science. Her thirst for knowledge, combined with her compassionate heart and love for the mountains, led her to the University of Utah where she earned her MS degree in recreation therapy in 1994.
While in college, Joann met her husband, Michael Canning, and they married in Nags Head, N.C., in June, 1997. They made their home in the quaint town of Freeport and on Sugar Loaf Mountain where they shared their love for skiing with their two beautiful daughters, Fiona and Clare, who inherited their mother’s passion for the sport.
Prior to her children, Joann committed her life to helping brain-injured clients reclaim theirs at acute brain injury rehabilitation centers. Her clients adored her and bloomed under her therapeutic approach, where she believed everyone deserved a second chance to live a quality life. She helped numerous clients learn how to embrace their new reality and find joy in their lives, despite their physical and cognitive limitations.
Her career continued to advance and she accepted a position at Bowdoin College in Brunswick as the Assistant Dean of Accommodations, advocating for students to receive the accommodations needed for them to excel, given their learning disabilities. When her daughter was a toddler, she made the decision to leave her promising career and be a stay-at-home Mom so she could focus solely on her family, and nurture her kind, intelligent and beautiful daughters through gourmet meals and an abundance of love.
Throughout her short life, she had a tremendous impact on everyone who had the deep honor of knowing her, and receiving the impact of her generosity and giving nature. She was a compassionate, charismatic, brilliant, beautiful and talented woman who made the world a brighter and better place to live. Her greatest legacy that she will leave in the world are her daughters, Fiona and Clare. She will be forever remembered and loved by those she’s left behind.
Joann is survived by her husband Michael Canning and her daughters Clare and Fiona; her father and mother, James and Carol Jackson; her older sister Janet Lee Jackson Ranheim, and husband Todd Ranheim and niece, Kirsten and nephew, Jackson; her mother- and father-in-law, Jack and Sunny Canning; along with several aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, and cousins.