April 26, 1949 – May 3, 2022
Susan Elaine Cannon McOmber, aged 73, died peacefully on May 3, 2022, of complications incident to Alzheimer’s disease. Born April 26, 1949, in Salt Lake City, third daughter of D. James and Elaine Anderson Cannon, Susan as a child joined her parents and
five siblings on frequent family trips within and well beyond Wasatch Front environs, especially excursions arranged during her father’s term as Director of Tourism for the State of Utah. Their rustic family cabin, situated along the shores of Hebgen Lake (West Yellowstone), became not only a favorite vacation destination but also a wellspring of enriching and unforgettable experiences that fostered the strong and loving filial bonds that characterized Susan’s immediate and extended family circle.
Breaking through a natural, self-effacing reserve, the youthful Susan moved on to develop deep, lasting friendships and to discover talents and interests–notably artistic and particularly vocal–that, for example, brought her onto East High (Susan’s alma mater) stages via its elite A cappella and Madrigal ensembles.
College life for Susan commenced as an Art major (she ultimately transitioned to Communication studies) at the University of Utah, where she affiliated with Chi Omega as a legacy sorority inductee, as did her three sisters, Chi Omegas and U of U alumnae all. Expanding her horizons further, Susan interrupted studies following her sophomore year to take a year-long job with the Peace Corps in Washington, D. C., a riveting experience punctuated by the tumultuous events of 1968. Not long after her subsequent return to the U she met law student Bryant McOmber, whom she married in the Salt Lake Temple in 1971. Locating thereafter to the Oakland/Piedmont area, the two eventually moved to Palo Alto (1981) where they continued to raise their four children, Susan balancing intermittent careers in international interior design and, eventually, real estate brokerage–all while concurrently prioritizing home life and tirelessly chronicling myriad family events via journals, letters, notes, and photographs. No less important to her were the responsibilities she shouldered as a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, among them service as Relief Society president, Primary president and, notably, in leadership roles with the regionally popular Christmas Crèche exhibitions that annually brought to the Palo Alto [LDS] Ward chapel thousands of visitors of many faiths, many of whom generously contributed their own nativities for display.
During her mother’s tenure as General Young Women President of the Church [1978-1984], Susan joined her for much of the national and international travel inescapably requisite to her mother’s calling. Those and similarly elevating experiences deepened Susan’s commitment to the Gospel and to the Church that meant so much to her.
Susan’s personal interests also became a motivation for frequent trips within the US and to Europe (especially with family and dear friends), exploration of culinary arts, entertaining, opera, tennis and, not least, fashion design and fine needlecraft: when daughters Erin and Hilary, for example, performed as members of the Paly Madrigals, they were exquisitely attired in Elizabethan-era gowns sewn by their mother.
Susan was predeceased by her parents, brothers Jamie and Tony, sisters Carla and Christine (“Kiki”), and sister-in-law Christine Jacobsen Cannon. In addition to sister Holly Metcalf (Richard) and sisters-in-law Rebecca Cannon and Kathy Cannon Anderson. Susan is survived by husband Bryant and children Erin, Nate (Katie), Hilary McDonough (David) and James, as well as eight grandchildren.
A memorial service will be held at 11:00 am on Saturday, May 14, 2022, at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 3865 Middlefield Road, Palo Alto.
Funeral services will be held at 11:00 am on Saturday, May 21, 2022, at the Imperial Ward chapel, 2738 Filmore Street, Salt Lake City. A viewing will be held there on Friday, May 20, 2022, from 6:00 to 8:00 PM and prior to the service from 9:30 to 10:30 am.