Horace "Hoss" Foncannon Receives N. Philip Shelton Humanitarian Award

A life-long resident of Vincennes, Horace Foncannon is this year’s Shelton Award winner for his more than 50 years of dedicated service to his community. Horace, or “Hoss” as his friends call him, has spent a majority of his life giving back to those less fortunate in his hometown.

After graduating from Lincoln High School, Horace left town and went to law school at Indiana University in Bloomington. It was there that he met his future wife, Nancy. The couple fell in love amidst the beginning of the Korean War and around the time of his college graduation, Horace was drafted into the U.S. Army. Fortunately, he was not sent overseas, and was able to return to Vincennes in 1954 with his new bride to practice law in his father’s firm.

Whether he was the Township Justice of the Peace or the President of the former Northside Savings and Loans establishment, giving back to his community was always important to him. “You gotta give back to your community,” said Horace. “I have been fortunate to raise my family and spend my professional career in Vincennes so I just keep trying to help people in need.”

Horace has been a part of many organizations throughout the community and has spent time on Good Samaritan Foundation’s Board of Governors, Vincennes University Foundation’s Board of Directors and is very active at his church, First United Methodist in Vincennes. He is extremely dedicated, however, to the Salvation Army and YMCA of Vincennes, spending more than 50 years with each organization.

Horace recently received the Salvation Army’s Lifetime Membership Award for his years of service on the board of directors. “He is a man of integrity and does all he can to help those less fortunate,” said Captain Laura Lunnam. She and her husband, Lieutenant Curtis Lunnam, have a tremendous amount of respect for Horace. “He knows the community so well and we go to him to seek guidance on how we can best help the residents of Vincennes,” continued Laura.

Horace Foncannon

Because of his dedication to the community of Vincennes, Horace will be this year’s Shelton Humanitarian Award winner. When he was informed of this recognition, he was surprised and humbled. “There are a lot of other people out there that do so much for the community so I appreciate being recognized for my work,” said Horace.

“When he speaks, people listen,” said Joel Smith, German American Bank Regional President and fellow Salvation Army board member. “He is definitely a leader and just a great person. I admire him. Everybody likes Hoss.”

One of the people who probably knows Horace the best is his sister, Linda Tucker. Growing up with an influential and giving older brother has made a positive impact on her life. Horace encouraged his sister to be on the Salvation Army board so she too could volunteer with the organization. “He is just the best brother ever,” said Linda. “I have been lucky to have grown up with him here in Vincennes and we have enjoyed each other’s company through the years. He is a sweet, kind man and I have always been proud to have him as a brother.”

At the young age of 89, there seems to be no stopping Horace when it comes to helping others. Although he may not get around as easily as he once did, he still enjoys attending board meetings of local organizations and sharing his ideas on how to make Vincennes a better place for all. “It is satisfying work to help others,” said Horace. “I am a very fortunate man.”

Horace will be presented with the Shelton Award on Sunday, February 12 at 2 p.m. in Eva Hill Auditorium at Good Samaritan’s Health Pavilion. The public is invited to attend.

A family physician in Vincennes, Dr. Shelton lived a life of dedication to his community and serving others. In recognition of his service, the Dr. N. Philip Shelton Humanitarian Award was established in 1998. The purpose of the award is to recognize and promote humanitarian achievement in our community.

Shelton Humanitarian Award nominees must be Knox County residents who have demonstrated extraordinary efforts in working to improve the general well being and happiness of others; worked consistently to meet the physical, social, economic and/or educational needs of individuals in our community; and exemplified the spirit of Dr. N. Philip Shelton by actions and deeds. Some of the past winners include: Scott Shipman, Mark Hill, Siegfried E. Schleicher, Jimmie Morrison, Nancy Carie, Jennifer Jones, Velma Hendrix, John Lyons and Max Renshaw.

* Photo courtesy of Fords Photography

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