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
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
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.
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
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
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