Mr. Richard E.'s Story

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Richard E. Gannon, 88, of Andover, passed away on June 13, 2016, after a rewarding personal and professional life and surrounded by the love of his family.
Raised in Wallingford, Conn., and the son of James and Mary (Hanley), he was the loving husband of 62 years of Barbara (Selden) Gannon. He was the devoted father of Christopher Gannon and his wife, Jan, of Vermont; Maureen McElhinney and her husband, Jack, of Winchester; Margaret O'Grady and her husband, Glenn, of North Andover; Kathryn Gannon-Janelle and her husband, Pierre, of Maine; and Patricia Gannon of Winchester. He was also the proud and beloved grandfather of Matthew Gannon and his wife, Meredith; Allison Gannon; Samuel and Julia McElhinney; Colleen, Kevin and Stephen O'Grady; and Christian and Charlotte Janelle.
Gannon was a noted scientist whose achievements included contributing to the early days of the Apollo space program, developing the reentry heat shield and nose cones displayed at the Smithsonian; research on solar furnaces and optical property measurements; processes to make acetylene from coal; and coal-fueled magneto hydro dynamics and coal gasification. He contributed reviewed publications in recognized technical society journals and was a frequent speaker at prestigious national and international conferences. In 2015, he was awarded a Certificate of Lifetime Academic Accomplishment by his alma mater, the University of Connecticut.
For 60 years, Gannon was active in his parish, St. Augustine Church, founding the CCD religious education program and volunteering with the St. Vincent de Paul Society. He also developed a wide circle of friends from his tightly-knit neighborhood, from his loyal group of bridge players, from his dedicated garden cemetery board members and from fellow devotees of live jazz performances.
Gannon was known for his personal humility, his kind and easy-going ways, and his unwavering devotion to faith and family. His wife, children and grandchildren were the light of his life, the source of his joy and contentedness. To them and others, he was a steady and guiding force, asking questions and seeking answers to benefit all. He brought wit, warmth and sensitivity to every relationship. Later in life, he acquired an uncanny ability to match nearly any occasion with the lyrics of a song.
Visiting hours will be held at the Chapel at West Parish Garden Cemetery at 129 Reservation Road, Andover, from 4 to 8 p.m. on June 16. A Celebration of Life Mass will be held at 12:30 p.m. on June 17 at St. Augustine Church, 43 Essex St., Andover.
In lieu of flowers, remembrances may be made to St. Vincent de Paul Society of St. Augustine Parish, 43 Essex St., Andover, 01810; West Parish Garden Cemetery, 129 Reservation Road, Andover, 01810; or Boys and Girls Clubs of Boston, 200 High St., 3rd Fl., Boston, MA, 02110. For additional information, please visit www.burkemagliozzi.com.
Published on  June 16, 2016
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