William Daniel Cannon, Jr.

December 9, 1943 - June 3, 2022

William Daniel Cannon, Jr. (78)

With his favorite bluegrass gospel playing and family by his side, William D. “Billy” Cannon closed his final “deal” peacefully at home in Cape Coral, FL after a courageous battle with cancer.

Born in Charlottesville, VA in 1943 and raised just up the road in Culpeper, Billy had an idyllic, small-town childhood growing up with his parents, William Sr and Ellen Cannon.  Both from humble beginnings, they valued education, honesty, hard work and humility.  Never forgetting Sunday dinners at his grandmother “Big Momma’s” farm in Castleton, Billy embodied and regularly preached these qualities to his children and grandchildren.

He earned his BS in Finance from Washington and Lee University, and his MBA from the Darden School at the University of Virginia, all while working for Dr. Charlie Hurt and falling in love with the real estate business.  After a successful career in Washington, Billy’s intense entrepreneurial spirit inspired him to establish Cannon Properties with his wife Nancy in 1985.  They successfully developed multifamily, commercial and golf course properties in Virginia and South Carolina.  The business continues to thrive with daughter Alex and son Jeff at the helm.

Some of Billy’s greatest passions were “doing deals”, boating, fishing, and playing golf.  He was a diehard UVA fan, following his beloved “Hoos” all over the country to cheer them on in basketball, football and baseball.  Finance or sports were what he watched, baseball season was always his favorite, endless games always on his TV.  He loved music, especially Bluegrass, attending loads of concerts and festivals.  He greatly enjoyed playing cards with friends, for years hosting Friday nights of man fun.

Billy established the “Hillbilly Open Golf Tournament” in Hilton Head, SC to bring together friends from all over the US annually for 25 years.  It was a fun, relaxing event where he got to entertain and play with his beloved friends from all walks of life, big boy, hillbilly style.

Billy always looked on the bright side of everything.  He said there were no mistakes, but opportunities to learn.  His eclectic group of family and wonderful friends will remember his smile, constant teasing and sense of humor.  The life of the party, he always found ways to make everyone feel comfortable and valuable.  He saw the special gifts and talents in others and did his best to help them shine.  As Jimmy Buffet wisely said of his life, “Some of its magic, some of its tragic, but I had a great life all the way”.

Billy was a devoted husband, father, grandfather, great-grandfather and loyal friend to many.  He leaves behind his loving wife, Nancy Ellen Cannon;  Children – Charlotte Haymore Cannon and Tommy Robinson of Ellenboro, NC, Leslie Alexander Cannon and husband Porter Smith of Charlottesville, VA, Jennifer Anne Petagna of Rock Hill, SC, and Jeffrey Alan Petagna and wife Andrea of Culpeper, VA; Grandchildren – Will Graves, Charlotte Stack, Chapin Smith, Rachel Sutton and husband Aaron, Julia Petagna, Miranda Petagna, and Carson Petagna;  Great-grandchildren – Ellie, Emma, Landon and Nicolette;  devoted “Doodle Dog” Teddy;  “adopted sons” Marshall Jenkins and Drew Holzwarth; and many special friends.

“Go rest high on that mountain, your work on Earth is done.”

Mullins Memorial Funeral Home & Cremation Service, Cape Coral, is entrusted with final care.


  1. Warren Haley Jun 9, 2022 at 10:38 am

    Warren says, “ I loved you special cousin. “ . So many good times and fond memories . Helen thought Billy was one of the smartest people she had ever met. Thanks to Carol Ann for getting us all together years ago. Nancy, let’s please keep in touch. Sending love to all the family during this difficult time. Love, Helen and Warren

  2. Karen Bosy Jun 9, 2022 at 10:45 am

    So many wonderful memories working with Billy on the CRH Boards. Always a smiling friendly face. Enjoyed playing golf with him in the hospital tournaments. One of a kind joyous human being. With much sympathy to Nancy and your family.

  3. Pete Rodda Jun 9, 2022 at 11:19 am

    I did not know him however I know his daughter Charlotte Cannon who took the happy and seeing everyone for their talents and finding the happy smiling face that she passes on everywhere Charlotte goes. When I read this all I could think of how she continues these great attributes to me as well as everyone she meets! I Love you Charlotte for who you are and now know where you got from!!!! May your Dad’s memory continue through you!

  4. Clare Buchanan Jun 9, 2022 at 12:06 pm

    That was a wonderful tribute to your Dad. The only regret any of us should have, is we never met him, we sure wish we had………. Love to you Charlotte and your family and friends.

  5. Dr. Laura Pettler Jun 9, 2022 at 12:34 pm

    Your dad was very special and loved by many. We will continue to love and remember him every day. We are deeply sorry for your loss and understand the long journey ahead. We are with you.
    Laura & Alexis

  6. Lynn Everett Jun 9, 2022 at 12:47 pm

    I never got the opportunity to meet Bill, but I have known his daughter Charlotte for 20+ years. You can see his values, morals, humor and most of all LOVE in his daughter Charlotte. His love for his family will last forever in their hearts. God bless and peace be with Bill and his beautiful family.

  7. William (Billy) & Frances Spicer Jun 9, 2022 at 5:22 pm

    I’ve always found it hard to call my cousin Bill and not Billy.
    Billy was the highest bar, the one you listened to first in any conversation.
    Billy’s ability to make you completely comfortable in his presence was unmatched.
    Billy’s knowledge of family, history, business and bluegrass was absolutely awesome.
    I am very proud to have shared his nickname among our cousins and will miss him very much.
    Our sincere condolences to Nancy, Charlotte, Alex and the rest of his immediate family.

  8. Rich Rhoades Jun 9, 2022 at 9:50 pm

    Billy was a special friend from the time we shot pool is his mom and dad’s basement on Blueridge Avenue and as my campaign manager for SCA President in high school. Later in our wedding and of course at the Hillbilly Open.

  9. Drew Holzwarth Jun 10, 2022 at 9:11 am

    I was incredibly fortunate to have crossed paths with Billy Cannon in early 2000. I was immediately enamored with his energy and genuine personality. You hear this a lot but Billy truly was “one of a kind” and will forever remain in my mind as a “larger than life” personality. I latched onto my new friend and never let go. It is a great-understatement to share that over the next two decades, Billy changed my life. From his wise counsel on the countless “deals” we discussed, to his relentless encouragement that I attend The Darden School, to becoming the “serial entrepreneur” that I have become, to joining him as a Director with Virginia Community Bank (some of our favorite times together), my friend and I covered some ground.
    Our friend is at peace now. For the rest of my life, while looking at “deals,” I will think WWBD??? What would Billy do? What is beautiful is that I will hear his wise counsel, “Drewbie, stay under-levered, play the long game, ‘milk the cow’ from time to time.”
    Nancy, Charlotte, Alex, & Jeff, I am so sorry for your loss, your loss. I look forward to seeing all of you to celebrating Billy in the near future. I do not need to share with you that family was always #1 for Billy.
    Billy Cannon, God Speed.
    Your good friend,

  10. Bill Holman Jun 11, 2022 at 12:14 pm

    Will always remember the years we roamed as the Unruly Five, you, Tay, Eddie, Lee and me. Rest In Peace my friend. My thoughts and prayers to the family.

  11. Lynn O. High Jun 12, 2022 at 2:09 pm

    I will remember his great spirit and friendship on my many visits to Culpeper over the past forty years. His and Nancy’s July event was always one I made every effort to attend. He was a friend to many, a credit to his community, and a loving leader of his clan — traits that will be missed but traits that will be remembered always.

  12. Shirleyann Bayne Jun 12, 2022 at 7:46 pm

    Yes.. Intelligent, Generous, Compassionate. Humorous. Humble. Loyal. Family man- just a few of the word to describe this special man. Truly one of a kind. He is a great loss to his family, friends and community. May he now RIP.

  13. John Hodge Jun 13, 2022 at 6:15 pm

    Billy was a true friend that I will miss tremendously. His wisdom and experience were always available when needed. Billy was a true “Hillbilly Champion “ , I am so proud to be a Hillbilly and what it has meant to me in life.
    Nancy, Lucy and I send our love and prayers and we will see you in July.

  14. Barbara Taylor Jun 13, 2022 at 9:32 pm

    It was with sadness I learned of Billy’s passing. A devoted family man first with a generous spirit for his many friends. In Culpeper it was often said “Billy Cannon is everybody’s best friend”. His positive impact in that community will forever be remembered. Billy’s congressman, for whom I worked, was fortunate to have a district office there in one of their buildings. We were right across the foyer from them. Billy and Nancy’s kindness to us was extremely valuable, never ending and appreciated. I feel certain there is Blue Grass music playing and a Hillbilly Golf Tournament going on in Heaven right now! My most sincere condolences to you Nancy and all of the family for this heartbreaking loss.

  15. Steve Nixon Jun 14, 2022 at 6:46 am

    Billy was a true gentleman, always kind and considerate. I first met Billy when working for Jefferson Homebuilders. He, Duke and Joe had several business ventures together and as a result we traveled together often. He embodied Culpeper, kind, humble and caring. Although very successful, he never forgot his roots. To Nancy and family, so sorry for your loss and I pray that God will bless you in your time of grief.

  16. Ed and Susan Howell Jun 14, 2022 at 3:56 pm

    Regrettably, Susan and I are unable to Join you and Billy’s many friends at his memorial service. However he(and you) will always have a special place in our hearts and fond memories of our time in Culpeper. As you know, i got to know and respect Billy as he was “makin a deal” with UVA for the future of Heath Care in the community. “Makin a deal” with Billy wasn’t hard– he was principled, sincere, honest and focused. I came to respect him deeply. I also was privileged to enjoy some wonderful moments with him through the Hillbilly’s and else where–thanks for sharing him with us–He was special. Please let us know if we can be of any service to you and your family.

  17. Ed Kirschner Jun 14, 2022 at 10:42 pm

    I was very fortunate to meet Bill Cannon, and eventually Nancy, Alex, and Jeff in the early 2000’s. Bill always reminded me of the “wise older man” in the room, and I learned many valuable “tools of the trade” from him.  With many years of experience under his belt and the wisdom gained from every venture, he was head and shoulders above many of us who worked with him. Nonetheless, he was always respectful, helpful, generous, and humble—always willing to offer advice and guidance.

    Bill was genuinely and sincerely interested in the people with whom he was conducting business—whether you were on his side of the table as the developer, or on the other side as the homebuilder, as I was.  It was a pleasure negotiating land deals with Bill—when all was done, he brought you in as if you were part of the family. He wanted everyone to experience success and “win” in business and in life. 

    I learned so much from Bill, not only as a real estate developer, but also as a friend. To this day I continue to share with people a nugget of wisdom Bill passed on to me when I was just beginning to venture out on my own in the land/home building business.  He said, “Never put too much money in any one deal, that if it blows up, it changes your lifestyle tomorrow.”  I have personally incorporated this motto into my own real estate ventures, and it has proven to be accurate and valuable advice from the “wise older man.”

    Bill was always surrounded by his loving family—whether at home, in the office, at Hilton Head, or in Florida. Family came first in his life, and over the years he seamlessly blended work life with home life. He will surely be missed. At this time, my thoughts and prayers are with each member of the Cannon family. I am so saddened and sorry for your loss.  May God comfort you and give you peace and strength in the coming days. 

  18. David Donahoe Jun 19, 2022 at 12:35 am

    I just became aware of Billy’s passing today when I visited Culpeper (It’s About Thyme) and asked about Billy. Please accept my sincere condolences. Billy is a special person, and his obituary provides glimpses of his many special qualities. He certainly is missed but never forgotten.

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