Charles Schlesman Canning September 17, 1936 - August 12, 2019

Charles Schlesman Canning, 82, of Allentown, passed away Monday, August 12, 2019 in Lehigh Valley Hospital, Inpatient Hospice Unit.  He was the husband of Marianne (Simko) Canning. They were married for almost 60 years. Charles was born on Constitution Day, September 17, 1936 in Allentown. He was the son of the late Robert A. and Ruth S. (Schlesman) Canning. Charles was a graduate of Allentown High School Class of 1954. He received his Bachelor of Arts from Moravian College in 1963, where he served as the President of Alpha Phi Omega National Service Fraternity. He received his Master of Education from Lehigh University in 1965 and completed post graduate study in Counseling at Lehigh in 1972. He started his teaching career at Kutztown Area School District (1963-1965) and Whitehall High School (1965-1970), serving as a Social Studies Teacher and Head Wrestling Coach at both schools. Later, he served Northern Lehigh High School as Guidance Counselor (1970 -1983) and Social Studies Teacher (1983-1990). Charles was featured on “Celebrating America’s Teachers,” a television program with Ed Asner, as one of only five teachers in the United States selected as finalists for the National Bicentennial Awards. After his retirement from teaching, Charles worked part-time as the Library Director for the Harry C. Trexler Masonic Library, where he published a book entitled “General Trexler’s Masonic Legacy.”

Charles was very involved in his community, serving as the President of the Union and West End Cemetery Association; Consistory President of his church, St. John’s United Church of Christ in Allentown and Chairman of the City of Allentown Columbus Quincentennial Celebrations Committee. Chuck was the President of the Pennsylvania Society of the Sons of the American Revolution; and Prior of the Priory of Philadelphia of the Sovereign Military Order of the Temple of Jerusalem, among countless others. Charles’ many contributions to his community have been widely recognized. He was awarded the Rank of Eagle Scout by the Boy Scouts of America, the “Super Sunday” Mayor’s Proclamation for his leadership in the Columbus Quincentennial and Mayor’s Award of Appreciation for outstanding leadership and voluntary spirit by the Mayor of Allentown, the Allentown Spirit Award for service to his fellow citizens by Allentown City Council, and the “World of Difference” Award for inter-group understanding through education by the Allentown Human Relations Commission.

Charles was especially involved with Freemasonry, serving as Worshipful Master of Jordan Lodge No. 673 in 1989 and the Pennsylvania Lodge of Research in 2007. He served as Right Eminent Grand Commander of the Knights Templar of Pennsylvania in 1983 and 1984. Chuck was High Priest of the Allen Royal Arch Chapter No. 203 in 1972, 1978, and 1979; Knight Commander of the Holy Royal Arch Knight Templar Priests in 1996; and Puissant Sovereign of the Mary Conclave, Red Cross of Constantine in 1992. He was involved with the Valley of Allentown Scottish Rite (AASR) as a 33rd degree Mason and the Order of DeMolay, serving the latter as Chapter Advisor to the Allentown Chapter from 1981 until 1999.

Survivors: He is survived by his wife, Marianne; son, Charles C. Canning and wife Melody A. of Centre Hall, PA; daughter, Karen M. Moussa and husband Farid of Littlestown, PA; twin brother, Robert J. Canning and wife Janet of Walnut Creek, CA; and grandchildren, Bridget Canning, Adib Moussa, Robin Moussa, and Glenn Canning.

Services: Services will be held at 10:30 AM on Saturday, August 24 in the Stephens Funeral Home, Inc. 274 North Krocks Road, Allentown. Call 6:00 – 8:00 PM on Friday, August 23 and 9:30 – 10:30 A.M. Saturday. A Masonic service will be held at 8:15 P.M. Friday by Jordan Martin Lodge No. 673. Interment will be in the Resurrection Cemetery, Allentown.

Contributions:  In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to Sovereign Military Order of the Temple of Jerusalem c/o the funeral home, 18106.


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