Marie Cannon Hatem, 85, died peacefully on April 24, 2017 at New Hanover Regional Medical Center in Wilmington, N.C., after a brief struggle with cancer.
Marie was born January 24, 1932 in Farmville, North Carolina, the daughter of proud Lebanese immigrants, Karim Cannon and Rosine Farris Cannon.
Marie enjoyed music. She began playing the piano at 8 years old and served as the organist for all services including early morning daily Mass at her church in Farmville.
She attended Farmville High School graduating in 1950. She then attended East Carolina Teacher’s College.
In 1952, she married Joseph N. Hatem. They operated a clothing store in Roanoke Rapids for over 20 years. In addition to raising their four children, she was an active volunteer in the community.
She was President of the Junior Woman’s Club and represented the club at the state level. She was a longtime member of the PTA, an avid bridge player and was a wonderful cook.
Marie enjoyed traveling, and made trips to China, Panama Canal, and Medjugorje. She wrote poetry and enjoyed reading English Literature.
Her hobbies included taking walks, baking delicious cookies for her family and friends, and watching Jeopardy. Spending time with her grandchildren gave her great joy. She was a teaching assistant at Clara Hearne Elementary School for five years and after retirement she returned to tutor as a volunteer.
Marie was proudest of her service to the Catholic Church, serving as organist for over 50 years, much of that time at St. John the Baptist Catholic Church in Roanoke Rapids.
She received the Benemerenti Medal, an honor awarded by the Pope to members of the clergy and laity for service to the Catholic Church, and in particular for her service to the church as organist and Catechism instructor.
She was preceded in death by her husband, Joe; her parents, Karim and Rosine: and two brothers, Raymond Cannon and Mitchell Cannon.
She is survived by two sisters, Claire Cannon of Alexandria, Va., and Emilie Cannon of Farmville, N.C.: one brother, Albert Cannon of Myrtle Beach, S.C.; and four children, Dr. Joseph P. Hatem and wife Tish, of Southport, N.C., George M. Hatem of Raleigh, N.C., Marie Hatem and husband Chris Long of Carrboro, N.C., and their children Paula Long of Queens, N.Y., and Moe Long of Carrboro, N.C., and Gregory P. Hatem and wife Samantha and their two children, George and Salma Kate, of Raleigh, N.C. She also leaves behind numerous loving cousins, nephews, nieces, and friends.
A Funeral Mass will be held on Friday, April 28, at 11 a.m. at St. John the Baptist Catholic Church in Roanoke Rapids with a graveside service to follow at Cedarwood Cemetery.
Visitation will be Thursday, April 27, at Wrenn, Clarke & Hagan Funeral Home from 7 – 9 p.m. with a Rosary Service at 6:30 p.m.