TWO LONGTIME PANHANDLE CAR DEALERS PASS AWAY A DAY APART

Posted 2 weeks ago

By John Axtell

Leonard Wad Milburn

Leonard “Wad” Milburn

The Panhandle recently lost two longtime Ford Motors dealers with the deaths a day apart late last month of Leonard “Wad” Milburn of Rushville and Theodore “Ted” Cannon of Scottsbluff.

Cannon was a car dealer in the Panhandle from 1956 until 2000 when he and his brother Bill sold Cannon Brothers Ford, which they’d owned for 36 years.

Ted Cannon passed away June 27th at his home at age 63. His services are being held Saturday at the First United Methodist Church in Scottsbluff

Ted Cannon

Theodore “Ted” Cannon

Wad Milburn passed away at age 62  a day later, Saturday June 28, at Regional West Medical Center in Scottsbluff after a battle with cancer. His memorial service was held last Thursday at Gordon-Rushville Middle School.

He joined the family-owned Sides and Milburn Ford out of college, working his way up from service and parts to taking over the company with his brother Doug…who focused on the service side while Wad was “taking care of the front half of the store.”

He was pleased to have been part of both the 50th and 75th anniversaries of the dealership and remained active in its day-to-day operations until the end.

Away from the business, Milburn took part over the years in drag racing, sports, singing, and…in recent years…acting with the Sheridan County Players with leading roles in shows that included Jesus Christ Superstar and Sugar, the musical adaption of the film Some Like It Hot.

The Milburn family has set up a memorial in Wad’s name to The Historic Plains Theater in Rushville, home of the Sheridan County Players. Donations may be sent to the Chamberlain-Pier Funeral Home, PO Box 366, Gordon, Nebraska 69343.