Cover photo for Harold Gannon's Obituary
Harold Gannon Profile Photo

Harold Gannon

July 8, 1929 — March 7, 2024

Harold Gannon

Harold Edward Gannon

July 8, 1929 - March 7, 2024


A final salute to the greatest generation ever.


In a far away distance you could hear, "All Aboard".


Harold E. Gannon, known as Poppy to many, boarded his last and final train heading home as he passed away peacefully on March 7, 2024, at SOMC Hospice, Portsmouth, Ohio.


Harold was born in Ironton, Lawrence County, Ohio, on July 8, 1929, to the late Arnold and Verna (Griffith) Gannon. While growing up and living on his grandparents farm he attended a one room schoolhouse, tucked away in the holler, until his parents moved to Portsmouth, Ohio, where he graduated from Portsmouth High School in 1948.

Harold, a Veteran, served in the United States Army 835th Engineer Aviation Battalion during the ending of WWII and the beginning stages of the Cold War. He attained the rank of Sergeant during his period of service while stationed in Berlin, Germany.  Harold is a recipient of the Medal for Humane Action - Berlin Air Lift.

Soon after his military service, Harold met Elizabeth (Betty) Coll and they were married at Holy Redeemer Church on May 15, 1953, Portsmouth, Ohio. They celebrated 63 years of marriage together before the passing of his wife in 2016, Medina, Ohio.

Harold is a retired railroader from Norfolk & Western Railroad with 39 years of service in 1993. He held many positions over his N&W career from Brakeman, Switchman, Yardman, Tower Operator to Conductor.

Harold is survived by his children, son John (Teresa) Gannon of Lawrenceburg, Indiana and daughter Jennifer (Doug Cook) Gannon of Seville, Ohio; his grandchildren, Matthew (Stephanie), Tyler (Katie), Brittany, Megan, Nathan Stallard (Katie Bedlion), Anna Stallard, and Adam Stallard. Harold also has four great grandchildren.  Many nephews and nieces who are a lively bunch, surrounded Harold with their laughter, playfulness and most of all their love.

He is preceded in death by his eldest sister, Mary Louise Shepherd of Portsmouth and his loving wife Betty Gannon in 2016, while living in Medina, Ohio.

Harold will be remembered for his teasing jokes, wildly entertaining stories, his love of sitting in the sunshine, never passing up a game of Euchre, eating his railroad steak, and of course his families annual Christmas parties he and his wife Betty would host at their home in Portsmouth.

One of Poppy's greatest joys came from his grandchildren as he was a major part of their childhood. They will each cherish loving memories of their Poppy's "one liners"; You are the best when you are asleep, to always keep it between the white lines, remember to always be a gentleman as well as a scholar, if the house isn't on fire then everything will be okay, and the ever famous one of all - taking a trip without leaving town!

Harold's family is grateful for the SMOC Hospice Center for keeping him comfortable and his passing was peaceful.

A heartfelt very special thank you to the Hillview Retirement Center staff, Becky (named fondly as the Warden), Mackenzie, Nikki and to Keri Kuhn. Your utmost dedication and genuine care you provided to Harold is eternally indebted.

A Military Funeral Honors service will be held at a later date as Harold will be laid to rest at the Ohio Western Reserve National Cemetery, Seville, Ohio.

"For man is man and the master of his fate".



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