Gary Fannon peacefully passed away June 2, 2021 from complications of metastatic small cell lung cancer with his wife, LaDonna, by his side at Adventist Health hospital in Bakersfield, CA. He battled using chemotherapy and radiation treatments over three years with one good year of remission. Gary was born September 02, 1955 in the hospital in Taft, CA. He is survived by his wife, LaDonna Kirkaldie Fannon and son, Jeffrey Fannon, at their family home in Dustin Acres, CA; sisters, Gail (Larry) Robinson of Dustin Acres, CA, and Wanda Pierce of Oklahoma. He also has daughters: Abigail Fannon of Arkansas City, MO; Terri Fannon of Taft, CA; Amanda Fannon of Perris, CA; and Jennifer King (and Kenneth) of Fort Stewart, GA. He also has two step children: Runa (Joseph) Martin of Albuquerque, NM and Andrea (Tyrell) French of Harrah, Washington. His niece Carmen (Charles) Taylor of Sparks, NV.
He was preceded in death by his sister, Louise Evans; nephew, Jeremy Robinson; wife, Deonia Smith Fannon plus his parents; Jesse Fannon and Hazel Harris Fannon.
Gary had fourteen grandchildren and 8 great grandchildren.
Gary had a strong work ethic beginning with his first job maintaining a gas station for his aunt up north in Escalon after dropping out of school at 15 years old. He also operated the tow truck services for this gas station and recounted many stories of highway accidents before the jaws of life was used. He said he saw more than a teenager should have to see. He remained there until he returned home at 17 to begin his long history in the oilfields with his dad. He worked many jobs in the oil industry eventually driving a semi-truck for over 17 years. He was proud of his skills and abilities of driving those semi pumper trucks for KVS.
He was involved in many things keeping his children active in 4-H and was even a judge for animals in the organization. He helped his children learn to raise and care for the animals to put in the fair yearly. He was also an EMT and firefighter for Derby Acres, CA. He enjoyed his training and shared the story of having to take care of a wing at hospital of elderly patients taking vitals and seeing to their needs while hospital staff was working under staffed. He attended college in Taft but suffered a heart attack from all he was having to do and was only a few credits from finishing. He struggled in grade school with learning disabilities but was proud of his B average in college with a little extra help.
Many people in their community knew Gary to be a great father to his three kids plus a wonderful caring husband to his wife Deonia who was a quadriplegic needing constant care. Gary worked at home taking care of his wife’s needs, children’s needs as well as taking care of the house and working long hours. He survived on little sleep with so much to take care of but he never complained. I want people to remember what he did for his family in all of these capacities. He was a care giver for sure.
He loved to go out fishing on his pontoon boat. Fishing was his favorite thing to do as well as puttering. He was an amazing electrician that only the family knew about. Electricity made sense to him and he could re-wire and fix the electricity for home. He loved to take drives exploring new areas and finding things to do. We live close to Kern County Raceway Park and Gary loved going to the races. He was planning on going to races the end of June. Animals loved Gary and he knew how to communicate with any animal. He was more of a dog person but our cats loved him so he regularly took allergy medication because he was allergic. He understood dogs and horses. He was able to train and work especially with horses. Never went anywhere without his cowboy hat. Jeffrey reminded me his dads hat needs to go with him, which we will honor him in that way.
Gary’s family has always been first and foremost. His loyalty was unwavering even when a family member betrayed his trust. He still believed and stood by family. Gary always said too many are walking dead. He defined the walking dead as someone with no interest in living or having a plan, and are just existing rather than living life to the fullest. He definitely was a doer and enjoyed living. His favorite activity lately was dinner out with his sister and brother-in-law especially once restaurants just recently opened up from the pandemic. He was amazing about keeping his weight up once we found out he was diagnosed with small cell lung cancer. We both read some articles about wasting away with not eating so he was determined he would not waste away. Food didn’t look or taste good but Gary was diligent about eating meals and snacking. He lately only got down to 189 lbs. which he was proud of. We hope his oilfield co-workers and other community members attend his memorial graveside services which were held on Monday June 7, 2021 at 3 pm at Westside cemetery. Arrangements are being made by Erickson and Brown Funeral Home.
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