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Terrance C. Cannan, 72, retired postal worker, decorated Vietnam veteran

Nov. 11, 1946 – March 30, 2019

Terrance C. “Terry” Cannan, of Buffalo, a retired postal worker and Vietnam War veteran, died March 30 in Hospice Buffalo, Cheektowaga, after an extended illness. He was 72.

Born in Lackawanna, the third of six children, he was the son of a Buffalo police officer and the grandson of Buffalo Police Commissioner Charles E. Cannan.

He grew up in South Buffalo, attending St. Thomas Aquinas School, and was a 1965 graduate of Baker-Victory High School.

Enlisting in the Marine Corps after graduation, he served as a rifleman in the Vietnam War, attaining the rank of corporal. He was wounded by shrapnel near the end of his deployment in Vietnam and was awarded the Purple Heart.

Returning from service, he attended college in Oklahoma before returning to Buffalo.

He met the former Joanne Vacanti, a teacher in Buffalo schools, at an Earth Day party in 1970 and they were married in 1973.

Mr. Cannan began a 30-year career with the U.S. Postal Service in 1977 and for many years was a letter carrier working from the Hertel Station. His route included his home in North Buffalo.

He enjoyed local high school and college sports and was a season ticket holder for Canisius College basketball games. He also coached his daughters’ softball teams and his son’s basketball team in Hertel-North Park youth leagues.

He was a parishioner at the Newman Center at SUNY Buffalo State and later at St. Joseph University Catholic Church.

Diagnosed with large granular lymphocyte leukemia in the mid-2000s, he battled the disease for many years and was active with cancer survivors at Gilda's Club. His children organized a group in his honor, Team Cannanza, to take part in the annual Leukemia Lymphoma Society Light the Night Walk.

Will Creeley, one of the contributors to Team Cannanza, wrote on the team’s fundraising web page: “Mr. Cannan, I remember once over dinner at your house you telling us about cutting class as a kid when they were building the Skyway, climbing up to the top, and almost getting blown over the edge by the wind. That was a hell of a story, and it stuck with me, and cemented my sense that you were pretty much invincible. Your strength in fighting this terrible disease is an inspiration.”

In addition to his wife, survivors include three daughters, Leah Fogarty, Delia Cannan and Mary Lombardo; a son, Charles; a sister, Sheila Schwabl; three brothers, Charles, Larry and Bob; and four grandchildren.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be offered at 11 a.m. Friday, April 5, in St. Joseph University Church, 3269 Main St.

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