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William J. “Bill” Shannon, 94, of Tockwotton on the Waterfront, East Providence, RI, formerly of Pawtucket, Naples, Florida and Dennis Port, Massachusetts, died peacefully on March 19, 2018 surrounded by his wife and daughter. He is survived by his devoted wife of 66 years, Ellen (Fay) Shannon, loving daughter, Marilyn Shannon McConaghy, her husband Raymond J. McConaghy, Jr of Pawtucket and his beloved granddaughter Bridget E. McConaghy of Brooklyn, New York.
He was predeceased by his siblings, Thomas Jr, Earl, Raymond “Bud”, Patricia, Donald, Robert Shannon and Barbara Goulart. He also has several nieces and nephews. Bill was the son of the late Alice M. (Hunt) Shannon and Thomas E. Shannon ,Sr.
Mr. Shannon was a graduate of Pawtucket East High School and the University of Rhode Island, where he served as President Theta Chi Fraternity and received a Master’s Degree in Guidance from Bridgewater State College. While at URI he played basketball for Coach Keaney on the Yankee Conference Champs in 1950. He served in the United States Navy for three and a half years during WWII.
Bill married Ellen in 1951 and taught in the Pawtucket School System for thirty five years. For twenty five of those years he was also a basketball official refereeing both college and high school games. Bill was a member of the IAABO Board #84 and CBOA. He refereed games in Madison Square Garden, the Palestra and Boston Garden.
He served as President of Board #84 and was the Basketball Rules Interpreter for the Rhode Island Board of Officials for twenty years. In 2000 he was inducted into the Board #84 Hall of fame. He received the Bill Kutniewski Award for outstanding contributions to basketball and was inducted into the New England Basketball Hall of fame in 2009. During his career, which included coaching basketball and football, teaching Physical Education and Math and heading the guidance department at Tolman High School, he served as President of the Pawtucket Teachers’ Alliance and Vice President of the AFT. For a number of years, Bill served as Assistant Director of the YMCA Camp Westtwood in Coventry, Rhode Island during the summer months.
Mr. Shannon retired in 1983 and there after he and Ellen enjoyed traveling to Ireland, Germany, France, England, Italy, Switzerland, Canada, Alaska, and the National Parks. They spent summers in Dennis Port and resided in Naples, Florida. In Naples they belonged to the High Point Country Club where Bill was President of High Point 41 and Chairman of the men’s golf association. He was a member of St. William’s Parish in Naples and was inducted into the Third Degree Knights of Columbus.
Since 2013, Bill and Ellen have resided in Assisted Living at Tockwotton on the Waterfront where they enjoyed numerous activities, a loving environment and spending summer days and evenings relaxing on the front veranda overlooking the water. The family extends a special heartfelt thank you to the staff and management of Tockwotton for all their kindness and caring.
The funeral for Mr. Shannon will be Friday at 9:00 am from the MANNING-HEFFERN FUNERAL HOME, 68 Broadway, Pawtucket, with a Mass of Christian Burial in St. Teresa’s Church, 358 Newport Avenue, Pawtucket at 10:00 am. Burial with full military honors will be in Mt. St. Mary’s Cemetery. The calling hours will be Thursday from 4-7 pm in the funeral home. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Bill’s name to Tockwotton on the Waterfront General Fund or Hope Hospice and Palliative Care of Rhode Island.