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Flag Pole Dedicated At The Community Center

By Staff | Jul 7, 2016

DEDICATION -- Members of VFW Post #2295 raised the American flag for the first time at The Shores at Five Island Community Center on the Fourth of July. The newly installed flag pole and commemorative bench were dedicated in memory of John “Gunner”?Gannon, former Emmetsburg Community Schools Superintendent, a veteran of the U.S. Army Air Corps, and a golfer. Members of the Gannon family were on hand for the dedication. --Jane Whitmore photo

“On the day we started turning dirt for the Community Center, John Gannon asked, ‘When are we going to get a flag pole out here?’ Unfortunately, John passed before that happened,” Emmetsburg City Administrator John Bird told residents of the community Monday morning. “It has been fun working with John’s daughter, Donna, and his many friends while putting this project together.”

A crowd of John Gannon’s friends and family gathered outside The Shores. Katie Kustra sang the National Anthem and Father Currans offered a blessing. Members of VFW Post #2295 raised the American flag on the new flag pole for the very first time.

Senator Jack Kibbie, a lifelong friend and fellow veteran, shared his thoughts about John Gannon as a husband, father, friend, educator, veteran and golfer — and a story teller.

“Independence Day serves as a landmark for our nation and our freedom,” said Kibbie. “Today we are gathered here to celebrate and represent John T. Gannon. This United States flag and flag pole and commemorative bench represent John Gannon and will serve as a landmark for all past, present and future veterans. John was a great patriot. The bench that will stand here for many years states, ‘This flagpole is dedicated in memory of John T. ‘Gunner’?Gannon’.”

Kibbie talked about John and Marge Gannon’s family of six children: Patricia, Mike, Kevin, Mary Kay, Donna and Rob. The couple has five grandchildren and two great grandsons. John has two brothers, Mark and Joe Gannon; and two sisters, Elaine and Bonnie.

“Marge was first in John’s life and family always came first,” said Kibbie.

He recalled Gannon’s participation in lobbying for a license to locate a casino in Emmetsburg. Always a supporter of rhe community, Gannon served on the Economic Development Committee and was a member of Rotary for 36 years.

“John dedicated his life to education, through his family, local community and educational organizations,” said Kibbie. “He loved Emmetsburg and he loved to golf, fishing trips and playing cards, along with morning coffee with his friends.”

Gannon’s son, Rob, added, “My dad was proud he served in World War II (Army Air Corps with the Flying Tigers) and he was very patriotic. It is fitting that this dedication is being held on the Fourth of July. Our family is touched and humbled.”

One of John Gannon’s favorite places was the golf course with his friends.