Allen Shane Foraker, 71
While visiting family for his granddaughter's birthday, Allen Shane Foraker passed away on Feb. 17, 2014, in Temple, Texas. He died after an 11-month battle with pancreatic cancer. He was 71 years old. He was born on Aug. 22, 1942, in Walla Walla, Wash., to Verne and Dorothy Boehmer Foraker.
Shane is preceded in death by his father Verne LeRoy Foraker and a sister Molly Hatziliadis. He is survived by his wife of 50 years, Elizabeth Janet; son Eric Foraker, of San Antonio, Texas; son Terence Foraker (Dolores), of St. Louis, Miss.; son Andrew Foraker (Rachel), of Belton, Texas; mother Dorothy Foraker, of Everett, Wash.; sister Colleen Manning, of Everett, Wash.; sister Lois Foraker, of Los Angeles, Calif.; and seven grandchildren: Marcelle, Logan, Jackie, Aubrey, Lauren, Sasha and Zoe Foraker. He also is survived by numerous nieces, nephews and other extended family members.
Shane found his adult feet in the U.S. Navy Submarine Force as an 18-year-old young man fresh out of Everett High School, class of 1960.
Shane married his life partner, Elizabeth Janet Ells, on Oct. 19, 1963, in Pocatello, Idaho, while stationed in Idaho. They continued to revel in each other's companionship for half a century.
Shane progressed through the naval ranks to Senior Chief Machinist Mate on nuclear submarines, then was selected to attend the University of Washington for four years, receiving a B.S. in mechanical engineering in 1971 and his commission. He progressed to the rank of Commander, having qualified to command Trident submarines and small Navy based in Scotland.
Shane earned graduate degrees in international relations and general management from U.S. Naval War College and Salve Regina University, both in Newport, R.I.
Following his retirement from the Navy in 1989, he and Janet operated a small business in Bremerton, Wash., for 16 years. During this time, Shane was heavily involved in Rotary International, serving as president of the East Bremerton Rotary Club, having the pleasure of performing hands-on work on international projects and leading a cultural exchange team to Rotary counterparts in Korea.
As his health began to wane, due to extensive surgeries for a shipboard accident, he and Janet sold the business and moved to New Mexico for a warm and dry climate. In New Mexico, Shane sustained his Rotary involvement, served in the Burro Flats Volunteer Fire Department, and began developing the property into an organic soft fruit orchard and melon farm.
Perhaps his most passionate pastime, other than a deep love for his three sons and seven grandchildren, was the enjoyment he derived from working on a smelly old submarine. His first boat, USS Razorback SS394, was a World War II veteran that was given to Turkey in 1970. In 2004, many former crew members arranged for its return to the U.S., where it is now a museum in North Little Rock, Ark. Every year, Shane and others went to the boat for a week-long work party to restore parts of the boat. His step was noticeably lighter every time he returned from that week.
After being diagnosed with stage 4 pancreatic cancer in early March 2013, Shane made the decision to begin treatment and live life as fully as possible. During the next 11 months, he continued his travels. He made repeated trips to see his mother, visited one son and granddaughters for Thanksgiving, and his other son and grandchildren for Christmas in St. Louis. He and Janet celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary with a special party this past August and had a special anniversary trip to Key West, Fla., in October. A final trip to his mother's home the month preceding his death and attending a granddaughter's birthday party the two days before his passing completed his year of full living with cancer.
Shane's family especially would like to thank the staff at the Champion Cancer Center in Alamogordo for the treatment and support he received there. Their compassion during this difficult time is greatly appreciated. A special expression of gratitude is extended to Dr. Stefan Korec at the center. He continually provided Shane with honest and accurate information about his treatment, as well as hope.
A public viewing will be held from 5-7 p.m. Monday, Feb. 24, at Hamilton-O'Dell Funeral Home, 1334 N.Scenic Dr., in Alamogordo.
A memorial service will take place at 10 a.m. Tuesday, Feb. 25, at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, 1800 23rd St., in Alamogordo.
Interment will be at 2 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 25, at the Fort Bliss National Cemetery
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Friends of Burro Flats Fire Station, 556 Laborcita Canyon Rd., La Luz, NM 88337
The Foraker family has entrusted their loved one to the care of Hamilton-O'Dell Funeral Home to direct the funeral services.
To sign the online register book, please visit www.hamiltonodell.com.
Published in Alamogordo Daily News from Feb. 22 to Mar. 21, 2014