Roseanne Cannon

6/18/1932 - 12/23/1998 Dyersville, Iowa

“Lord, make me an instrument of your peace; where there is hatred, let me sow love; where there is injury, pardon; where there is doubt, faith; where there is despair, hope; where there is darkness, light; and where there is sadness, joy.” St. Francis

The Playlist

Songs in the Key of Roseanne's Life

  • Night And Day Leo Reisman and His Orchestra

    This song was #1 on the day Roseanne was born.

  • Nature Boy Nat King Cole

    Nat King Cole was on top of the charts when Roseanne turned 16.

  • The Third Man Theme Anton Karas

    On her 18th birthday, when graduating from St. Francis High School, this song from the popular movie "The Third Man" was #1.

  • Green Hornet Al Hirt

    Not sure if mom loved this song. But she did go see Al HIrt in concert once. And this is Al Hirt's most well-known song.

  • Be Not Afraid Kitty Cleveland

    Roseanne was a very devoted Catholic. This is a well known Catholic hymn.

  • Go Cubs Go Steve Goodman

    Roseanne loved the Cubs. Her prayers (along with many other Cubs fans) helped them bring a World Series title to the team. She certainly enjoyed looking down on that celebration.

My Playlist in Spotify

Roseanne M. (Hesselmann) Cannon

Roseanne M. Cannon, 66, of Wheaton died in her home in Wheaton, Illinois on December 23, 1998 after a long and courageous struggle with cancer. Mrs. Cannon was an administrative assistant with Toyota Motor Corp.'s Midwest sales office near Aurora for nearly 20 years until she retired in 1997.

She was a native of Dyersville, Iowa, home of the Basilica of St. Francis Xavier Catholic Church and where the movie "Field of Dreams" was filmed. Dyersville gave Mrs. Cannon pride. She graduated from the former St. Francis High School in Dyersvill and attended the Katherine Gibbs Secretarial School in Boston. She lived in Wheaton for the last 25 years of her life and was active in St. James the Apostle Catholic Church in Glen Ellyn.

She was the beloved mother of three sons, Joe (Chris) Cannon, Michael (Michelle) Cannon, and Patrick (Shelley) Cannon. She was the doting grandmother to five grandchildren, Kelly, Kyle, Alexandra, Drew and Mallory (and how watches over them as well as Shane, Eleanor, and Francis who all arrived later). She was the devoted sister of Paul Hesselmann, Jim Hesselmann, and Tom Hesselmann.

She was preceded in death by her parents, Ray and Anna (Milbert) Hesselmann and sisters Catherine Hesselmann and Mary Lou Evers.

Roseanne was taken from this world much too soon. Damn that breast cancer. She was so excited to retire and come visit her growing number of grandchildren. They were the focus of her life -- and she loved being the doting grandma. 


Taking a visual stroll through the life of Roseanne Cannon

  • Mom was proud of her hometown - Dyersville, Iowa - and its iconic Catholic church - The Basilica of St. Francis Xavier

  • This photo -- taken around 1946 -- shows the Hesselmann family. (Top L-R) Anne, Ray, Paul (middle row) Roseanne and Mary Lou (front row) Jim and Tom

  • A beautiful bride

  • A fashionable young woman

  • A new mother (1960)

  • A young mother (1961)

  • Husband Pat was a photographer, so there were Christmas Card pictures every year (1967)

  • 1968

  • 1973

  • 1975

  • 1980

  • Best Valentine (~1970)

  • Jim, Paul, and Tom Hesselmann (brothers), Mary Lou Evers and Roseanne (sisters) (1981)

  • Nieces and nephews (1981)

  • Joe and Mom in New York City (1988)

  • Pat & Shelley's wedding (1988)

  • First grandchild (Kelly - 1991)

  • Grandma made Kelly a halloween costume

  • Pat, Kyle (second grandchild) and Roseanne

  • Third grandchild (Ally) - yes grandma made the costume

  • Mike and Michelle's wedding

Mom loved watching her kids play sports...

Pat tells a story...

Mom was a big sports fan.  The type of fan that even if she was pulling for your team you might not want her in the room watching with you. However, it was great that she did her best to make it to many, many of her kid’s games.  And that meant a lot of games.  I know when I played football in 7th and 8th grades, she would travel to some pretty rough suburbs to be on the sidelines.  She hit our Austin games close to the city alone because dad was tied up with something.

She would show up for baseball games with an extra pack of cigs if Mike or I were pitching.  I also played first base at times and that was rough one day as she sat along that first base line.  Doing her best to cheer and not embarrass me.  To be honest, I don’t recall being embarrassed by her many times at all.  There was this foul ball pop up and I am not sure if I lost it in the sun or just blew it-but it hit the ground over near the fence with me standing close to it and I hear this loud "Oh Patrick!"  You could have heard that in left field and she was just five feet from me.  I looked over in the way any adoring 7th grader would have at the time. 

The woman liked her sports-especially if her boys were playing.  I can recall track and field meets, baseball, basketball and football for years and years.

What my mom loved most...

Joe's remembers...

My mom loved lots of things. But I think what she loved most was...

  • Her three boys. Even her daughters-in-law, whom she loved dearly, recall that her three boys were the apples of her eye. Until...
  • Her grandchildren came along. Mom loved being a grandma. And she was an awesome grandma. She loved to watch the kids, read to the kids, feed the kids, play with the kids. Mom was so excited to retire from her job and come visit her grandkids or have them visit her. She talked about having Kelly (her first grandchild) fly to Chicago to stay with grandma. Mom wanted to take Kelly to the American Girl Cafe in Chicago. Mom never had a girl, so I think she was especially thrilled with a granddaughter. Sadly, that damn cancer thing took her before she could fulfill all those dreams. 
  • She loved Jesus Christ and Catholicism. Mom was a devout Catholic and her faith and church meant a great deal to her. 

What else did mom love? 

  • Mom loved her extended family. Her brothers, sisters, brother-in-law, sisters-in-law, cousins, nieces, nephews, family meant a lot to her. Mom did a wonderful job keeping the family connected. Every other year she hosted a picnic at her Wheaton home and most of her brothers and sisters, their kids and grandkids, would all make it. It was really a great way to keep all of us in touch (before Facebook haha).  
  • Mom also loved her friends. She made many, especially in the last 15-20 years of her life. 
  • She enjoyed the Bulls (and Michael Jordan of course), the Cubs, and Notre Dame football. I think she developed a love of sports because her three boys were so into them. She watched, learned, and loved to talk sports with us. 
  • Mom had extremely high integrity. She would never even tell a "white lie." When we were younger (back when a land line was the only phone for the house) she would never tell anyone "Joe's not home" if Joe was home. And you know there are times you really don't want to talk to someone on the phone.  

The gift of a love of reading

Grandma loved reading with her grandkids

My mom loved to read with her grandkids. She believed it was the most important thing she could do. Whenever she visited, she would sit for hours and read with the kids. 

Of course my mom also loved to buy books for the kids. She had a large stock of them. When she died, there were a couple dozen of these gifts left to be shared. In our house, the next several Christmases included a gift for each girl from Grandma. Perhaps the greatest gift she left them was a love of reading that each has to this day. She would have liked that.

Recipe: Peanut Butter Balls

Mom's specialty

Every Christmas mom made hundreds of peanut butter balls. We loved them. Everybody loved them. Mom shared them with friends and family. They could be a lot of work -- but it was a labor of love. So she made very large batches. This recipe makes 235 balls (depending on the size--hers were usually half the size of a golf ball). 

Servings:  235

Peanut butter centers

  • 40 ounces crunchy peanut butter
  • 2 pounds of confectioner's sugar
  • 6 cups of Rice Krispies cereal
  • 2 sticks of margarine

Chocolate coating...

  • 1 large Hershey's Sympony Milk Chocolate bar
  • 12 ounces of chocolate chips
  • 1/4 pound paraffin wax

Mix peanut butter center ingredients together and form into walnut-sized balls. 

Refrigerate for 2-3 hours. 

To make chocolate coating -- melt all ingredients in a double boiler. 

Dip each ball using a toothpick, trying to remove excess coating. 

Do you have a story about Roseanne Cannon?

If you have a story about Roseanne, please share it with Joe (keeper of her site).

Please email that story to Joe Cannon (Joe DOT Cannon AT colostate DOT edu); if you don't mind, he will share it on his mom's Last Soundtrack.