Will Cannon was a Trial lawyer for 49 years and — for 42 of those 49 years — he was Board Certified in both Personal Injury and Civil Trial Law. He was credentialed as a Distinguished Credential Mediator in 2008 and re-credentialed annually until his death in 2019.
A product of Abilene High School, Will graduated from West Point in 1962 with a degree in Mechanical Engineering. His diploma was presented to his class by President John F. Kennedy.
After graduating from Intelligence School, Will was assigned to a Titan II Intercontinental Ballistic Missile Unit as an Intelligence Officer. In 1964, Will was accepted into the Special Forces and was posted to Vietnam as a Special Forces Combat Intelligence Officer.
While serving in Vietnam, the Montagnard People who lived deep in the central highlands made Will an honorary member of their tribe, an achievement of which Will was particularly proud. The government of South Vietnam saw fit to award Will the Cross of Gallantry with Palm — they handed them out like candy, according to Will.
Our own government awarded him the Purple Heart for wounds received in combat as well as the Air Medal for flying on more than 25 combat missions with the Air Commandos. He was also awarded three Commendation Medals. One late night in Saigon, Will apparently awarded himself a Special Forces tattoo. Suffice it to say, when you mediated with Will, you were eligible to hear all the war stories you could tolerate (and they always got better with each telling). He was also nominated for the Medal of Honor.
After moving to Houston in 1967, Will attended Law School at University of Houston on the GI Bill. Although he worked full time throughout law school, Will somehow found time to serve as an Associate Editor of the Houston Law Review and to be inducted into the Order of the Barons Honor Society. He graduated and was licensed in 1970.
Will learned the craft of being a Trial Lawyer during the six years he worked for Joe Jamail immediately following graduation. After leaving Joe, Will practiced on his own and with partners. He was the Chief of the Trial Section for Shell Oil Company as well as the managing attorney for two insurance company staff offices. Such a wide range of litigation experience afforded Will the opportunity to try more than 300 lawsuits to jury verdict.
In 1994, Will and Jane McEldowney opened their full-time mediation practice and mediated together daily for 25 years, until his death in 2019. Jane was not only Will’s law partner and his wife, she was also the love of his very rich and very rewarding life. At Jane’s request many years before his passing, Will wrote his own obituary:
Here: May 25, 1940
Gone: October 23, 2019
Husband to Jane Tyree McEldowney
Father to Scott William Cannon
Father to Kristin Cannon Kirby
Grandfather to Tindal Malinak Kirby
Raised in Abilene
Graduate of West Point
Special Forces Officer
Honorary Montagnard Tribesman
Lover of Dogs, Movies, Books, Music, Art, and Trivia.
Lover of Jane McEldowney until the end of time.
“Come in,” she said, “I’ll give you shelter from the storm.”
“And when our work is done,
Our course on earth is run,
May it be said, ‘Well done;
Be thou at peace.’”
“Oh, beat the drum slowly, and play the fife lowly
And play the Dead March as you carry me along.
Take me to the green valley and lay the earth o’er me,
For I’m a poor cowboy and I know I’ve done wrong”
Written by Will Cannon with help from
The West Point Alma Mater
The Cowboy’s Lament
And his good pal, Bobby Z
Celebration of Life
Monday, November 11,2019 at 6:00 pm
The House of Blues
Foundation Room Entrance
1225 Dallas Street, Houston, TX, 77002
In lieu of flowers or gifts, please donate to Love and Rescue:
Paypal: [email protected]