OLTON – Betty Sue (Howard) Cannon, 87, former owner of the Olton Enterprise, died April 8 in Lubbock.
A native of Erick, Oklahoma, she moved to Olton with her family in 1943 and she graduated from Olton High School in 1948. She attended Watson Business School in Plainview.
She married Jim Cannon in 1950 and they left Olton. After her divorce in 1964, she returned to Olton as a single mother with six children under the age of 13. After working odd jobs, she was hired as a typesetter by Bill and Amy Turner, then owners and operators of the Olton Enterprise. She became managing editor in 1967. Four years later, she purchased the Olton paper, the Enterprise Studio and The Hart Beat.
She also established The Kress Chronicle in 1969 for the community of Kress, and assembled it, along with the other two papers, for the next 11 years. At the same time, she operated a fulltime photography studio and was an area wedding photographer. As a news photographer, she covered local sports and other events for many years.
From 1985 until 1994 the Olton office was also home to The Plains Pride of Yoakum County, a newspaper operated by her daughter Debbie and son-in-law Joe Alcorta. She also didn’t hesitate to help publish the Amherst News when that paper was struggling. She was always offering a hand up, realizing those “hand ups” were so generously offered to her many times through the years.
She became active in the Panhandle Press Association, serving as secretary and as the first woman to be elected to the board. She was inducted into that association’s Hall of Fame in 2001 in Amarillo. She was also a member of Texas Press Association, National Newspaper Association and West Texas Press Association.
Cannon served on the Olton ISD School Board, the Olton City Council and Olton Retail Merchants. She was a member, board member, manager and first woman president of the Olton Chamber of Commerce, helping organize the annual Olton Pheasant Hunt. She helped with the organization of Olton’s Running Water Draw Care Center and was an advocate for the “Find a Doctor” campaign. A member of the Olton Lions Club, she was named Woman of the Year in 1972, Citizen Through the Years in 2003, when the Olton Stock Show was dedicated to her, and Olton’s Super Spirit Booster in 2011.
After 38 years in the newspaper business, Sue sold the Enterprise in 2002, while still continuing her photography business.
In 2003, she published the “Cook of the Week” cookbook featuring recipes published in the newspaper in the previous 40 years.
Preceded in death by a son and one grandson, she is survived by five children, 10 grandchildren, seven great-grandchildren grandchildren and three sisters.
Services were held April 14 at Main Street Church of Christ in Olton with interment in the Olton Cemetery.