Sam Stone Shannon, last of the remarkable “Shannon Dozen” from Durant, Oklahoma, died of cancer early morning on July 4th, 2012 in Portland, Oregon. Born next to the youngest, and the 13th child of O.L. and Rennie Taylor Shannon, on Oct 1st, 1922, Sam was a World War II veteran (U.S. Army Air Force radio operator) along with 4 of his brothers. Sam shared the Oct 1st birthday with older brother Jack Shannon (1912-1989).
Never married, “Uncle Sam” (aka”SSS”) was a charming, sophisticated individual who was very special to his twenty nephews, nieces, and their families. He kept extensive, hand-written historical records of his extended family, as well as of his siblings, parents, and fore bearers. While personally frugal, he generously gave of his own time and resources throughout his lifetime, attending to family members in need as well as quietly providing financial aid to numerous individuals. Sam had a unique ability to make a person feel very special and highly esteemed.
During his working career, Sam represented Wiley Publishing Co. for textbooks and professional reference books, traveling widely to universities and colleges in the West and Southwestern U.S.A. Earlier, at the invitation of J. Edgar Hoover, Sam went through training and seriously considered becoming an FBI agent, but declined assignment. He attended Reed College and Stanford, majoring in psychology, before graduating from TCU in Texas after the war.
He will be missed by his many friends and surviving relatives all over the United States. His love of music, art, and books is a special legacy. As Sam himself wrote, in his memorable thoughts on his father, “Death ends a life. It does not end a relationship.”