The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO


February 24, 2013

Fannun Ahmed Kanan

JOPLIN, Mo. — In memory of Fannun Ahmed Kanan

Fannun A. Kanan died on Feb. 5, 2013, at the age of 84 years.

Mr. Kanan was born June 30, 1928, in Bethlehem, Palestine. In early 1956, Mr. Kanan came to the United States as a refugee sponsored by Rev. Thurman Kelly from Joplin, Mo. Rev. Kelly initially met Mr. Kanan during a visit to the Holy Land.

On Feb. 14, 1956, Mr. Kanan arrived in Joplin, where he resided for the remainder of his life. On Dec. 2, 1956, he married Elma who was his sweetheart and best friend for more than 56 years.

Mr. Kanan worked at Big Brothers before he went into the hospitality industry. For over four decades, he was a real estate developer who promoted the Joplin community and the four states area bringing businesses and creating jobs. He was on the Board of Directors for Commerce Bank as well as the Board of Directors for Ozark Health Center, which is part of the Freeman Healthcare System.

Fannun Kanan was proud to be an American citizen and deeply grateful for the freedom and opportunity in this country to become the best that you can be for yourself and others. He was a devout Muslim who cultivated understanding, respect and friendships across people of all religions and cultures.

He was known as "Uncle Fannun" to countless numbers of children who he performed magic tricks for and motivated them to believe in themselves. He introduced the joy of fishing and hunting to many young people who remember the experience as a life lesson; he was a great teacher.

Mr. Kanan was a philanthropist who supported education, healthcare and religious freedom. Through his generosity, several families, children and students benefited in this country and overseas. He was a humanitarian who helped so many people make their dreams come true. He changed the world, which is truly a better place because of his leadership, inspiration, kindness and humor.

Fannun Kanan is survived by this wife, Elma Kanan; a son, Raaji Kanan; a daughter, Renee Kanan; as well as two granddaughters and three sisters, who still live overseas.

A memorial service will be held at the Holiday Inn in Joplin, on March 2, between 2 and 4 p.m. Please join us in honoring and celebrating the life of Fannun Ahmed Kanan.

Online condolences may be made at

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