Irene 'Rene' Cannon, 74, of Lexington, SC, passed away on Saturday, September 3, 2022. Rene was born in Orangeburg, the daughter of the late Jewel Buffkin Shirley and the late Doyle C. Shirley, Jr. and the late Edward Dallas Cannon. She graduated from Orangeburg High School in 1966, Winthrop College with a BS in Elementary Education in 1970, and a Master's Degree in School Administration in 1975.
Rene is a native of Orangeburg, SC but moved to Rock Hill, SC to teach in 1975. In 1977, Rene decided to focus her career on teaching Special Needs Children and obtained her certification to meet this decision. Rene was dedicated to teaching children and also was concerned for their physical well-being. She worked with her children to prepare and participate in the Special Olympics where she was a district coordinator. In 1978-1979, she was the publicity chairman for the York County Education Association. She was awarded the Union County teacher of the Year in 1989. Rene retired after 29 years of teaching. Rene also was dedicated to helping her community. She was a charter member of the Western York County Business and Professional Women's Club where she served as its first Project's Chairman. She served as a Project Chair for the York Lioness Club and helped with many art projects for the Chamber of Commerce. Rene was also awarded the outstanding Young Women of America award in 1978 in recognition of her school and community work. Rene was a very religious person who served on many church projects and also shared her faith through prison ministries.
Rene is survived by her brothers, Clay (Janice) Shirley of Lexington, SC and Richard Shirley of Washington, DC; her niece Lauryn (Daniel) Wise of Lexington, SC and her nephew Collin Shirley of Columbia, SC.
A celebration of life will be conducted at a later date.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Epworth's Children Home in Columbia, SC.
South Carolina Cremation Society is assisting the family. Family and friends may sign the online guest book by clicking on the “Tribute Wall” tab above.