Louis Albert Fanning, known to friends as “Lou,” was born January 31, 1927 in Berwyn, IL to Louis and Alice (Moysey) Fanning and passed away on at 1:37 a.m. Wednesday, October 23, 2019 in Savoy IL, after a long and courageous battle with Parkinson’s Disease. Lou lived in many places where he made lifelong friends…read more
Louis Albert Fanning, known to friends as “Lou,” was born January 31, 1927 in Berwyn, IL to Louis and Alice (Moysey) Fanning and passed away on at 1:37 a.m. Wednesday, October 23, 2019 in Savoy IL, after a long and courageous battle with Parkinson’s Disease. Lou lived in many places where he made lifelong friends who shared his sense of humor, would laugh at a good story, and enjoyed lively political discussions.
Dr. Fanning was a History Professor Emeritus who taught for 30 years at the State University of New York at Farmingdale, Long Island. Dr. Fanning graduated from University of Illinois, received his Master’s from Long Island University, and his PhD from St. John’s University, NY. He taught thousands of students over the years, who appreciated the way he enlivened his history of Western Civilization classes with art and literature through the early adoption of multi-media presentations. His mentors and peers developed close friendships which they maintained over the miles and the years.
Lou enlisted in the Army during WWII at the age of 18 and later served in the Korean War as a staff intelligence officer under General Mark W. Clark in Tokyo, Japan. He and Helen Hoffsommer of Kansas were married in 1952 in Japan. He retired from the Army Reserves as a Major and was a member of the Assn. of Former Intelligence Officers.
Author of the book Betrayal in Vietnam (1976), Dr. Fanning was a specialist in Vietnamese history and politics for the Future Heritage Foundation, served as an advisor to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, was a visiting lecturer at the U.S. Special Warfare Center in Ft. Bragg, NC and a visiting scholar at the Hoover Institute of Stanford University, CA.
When Lou moved to Farmingdale on Long Island, NY in the 1960’s, he enjoyed summer vacation days at Jones Beach with Helen, their children Jeanne and Kurt, his mother Alice and his sister Carol Sue. They enjoyed visiting historical and military sites up and down the East Coast. Lou discovered a deep love for the waterfront and ocean which led to learning to surf and owning a boat for a time. Saturdays would find him puttering in the yard, painting the house, fixing or building something while wearing his old army fatigues. He and Helen moved to Northport where Lou enjoyed walks to nearby Crab Meadow Beach. He had an appreciation for Irish culture including Irish music. He was a director of the Irish American Society in Queens, Long Island and a member of the Sons of the American Revolution.
After Lou and Helen retired to Tucson, AZ, they divorced after 40 years of marriage. Lou made many new friends who were also interested in history, the arts and politics. He was honored to serve as President of the Pima County Republican Club and as Vice President of the Tucson Conservative Forum. He was a tireless researcher and stayed informed on current issues. He was a frequently invited guest lecturer in the Tucson and Champaign areas on issues of national defense.
Lou reunited with Dottie who he had first gotten to know while both were undergraduates at University of Illinois. Lou married Dorothy “Dottie” Cantrell (née McKinley) June 28, 1998 in Champaign, Il. The couple became “snowbirds” who enjoyed spending winters in Tucson, AZ and summers in Champaign. During their 21 years of marriage, travelling was a favorite pastime, including visiting their children and extended families, cruising the Danube River, Alaska and the Caribbean and tours of Ireland, France and Calgary, Canada. Together, they made new friends and kept the old.
Survivors include his wife Dorothy; his daughter Jeanne Santangelo (Jim) of Novato, CA; and son Kurt Fanning of Grand Rapids, MI from his first marriage to Helen Hoffsommer; grandchildren Jesse and Jenna Santangelo; stepsons James Cantrell (Susan) of Bloomington, IL; and John Cantrell (Kari) of Herndon, VA; stepdaughter Ellen Cantrell of Urbana, IL; four step-grandchildren Ryan, Eric and Anna Cantrell, Katie Allaria and four step-great-grandsons. Also survived by his sisters Shirley Ellsworth of Aurora, IL and Carol Wilhelm (Larry) of Easely, SC. He was pre-deceased by his sister, Barbara Simon.
Louis’s family is deeply grateful for the compassionate care he received for the past two years from the staff of Autumn Fields Adult Community of Savoy and for the hospice care he received in the last months of his life from Harbor Light Hospice of Decatur.
A celebration of Louis’s life will be held at 4:00 p.m. Friday, November 1, 2019 at New Horizon United Methodist Church, 3002 West Bloomington Road, Champaign; Rev. Dr. Mark A. Jordan will officiate. Burial with military rites will be held at 2:00 p.m. Saturday, November 2, 2019 at Oakridge-Glen Oak Cemetery, Hillside, IL. Morgan Memorial Home, Savoy is in charge of arrangements.
Donations in Memory of Louis Fanning may be made to Parkinson’s Foundation, 1359 Broadway, Ste 1509, New York New York 10018.
Condolences may be offered at www.morganmemorialhome.com.hide
Date: Friday, November 1, 2019
Time: 04:00 pm
New Horizon Church
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