Robert Edward Canion Jr.
October 13, 1916 – January 20, 2020
Bob Canion, was born in Smiley, Texas on October 13, 1916 to Robert E. Canion, Sr. and Ola Greene Canion. His parents met in Bisbee and married in Arlington, Arizona, but insisted on having their children in Texas. WWI brought Robert, Sr. back to the mines in Bisbee and Bobby had his 1st birthday on the train to Arizona. At 16, Bob started running the excavation business because of his dad’s poor health. He kept the business operating during the depression. Unable to enter the military during WWII he helped the war effort by hauling material to build Luke Field in the west valley and manganese for manufacturing war materials. After the war he contributed to the rapid growth of the Valley of the Sun by excavating basements under many of the Valley’s well known buildings. These included several hospitals, The Phoenix Main Library at McDowell and Central (now the Phoenix Museum of Art), The Senate and House wings of the Arizona State Capitol, Manzanita and Palo Verde dorms at ASU, as well as the Physical Science Building and utility tunnels on that campus.
In 1945, Bob married Nelda Grace Connelley in Phoenix where they raised their three children and enjoyed a 53year marriage.
Bob was a 32nd degree Mason with Montezuma Lodge No.35 where he was a member for over 50 years. He was also a 50 year member of El Zaribah Shrine where he and Nelda participated in the Nomads RV club. The past few years, Bob was part of the Hiram lunch group that met at the Shrine each Wednesday for lunch and fellowship.
Bob was preceded in death by Nelda and daughter olivia free-woman (Judy). He is survived by a daughter Marlene Blakeney, a son and daughter-in-law Robert, III and Linda, grandchildren Jeff Canion, Heather Crabtree-McMinn, Amy Blakeney, Shona Tryon, Lee Blakeney, and Clay Blakeney, 13 great grandchildren and 1 great-great grandchild. Visitation will be Saturday, January 25 at A. L. Moore-Grimshaw 710 W. Bethany Home Road, from 5 to 7 p.m. Masonic funeral services will January 26 at 1 p.m. at Serenity Chapel, Greenwood Cemetery, 2300 W. Van Buren, Phoenix. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Shriner’s Children’s Hospital.
- Visitation Saturday, January 25, 2020
- Funeral Service Sunday, January 26, 2020