Robert Charles "R.C." Shannon

Shannon, Robert Charles R.C.
Robert Charles "R.C." Shannon passed away in the early morning of Saturday, January 12, 2013 at his home in Peoria, AZ. The self-proclaimed West Virginia "high tech Redneck," knew he was going to heaven; he just "didn't want to go today." He lived life with "a whole lot of shakin' goin on" until he passed away. He was the son of Audrey and Will Shannon, was born in Kegley, West Virginia on March 18, 1928 and the "hollers" of that great state were never the same. Shannon was never one to let the grass grow under his feet and was ready to spread his wings and see the world. So, at the ripe old age of 14, he dropped out of 8th grade and the lifelong adventure began and never stopped. After short detours to the National Youth Administration and the West Virginia coal mines, Robert joined the US Navy in August 1945; and as he says, "When the Japanese heard this West Virginia hillbilly was on his way they surrendered before I could get there." The highlight of his four year US Navy service was an around the world good-will cruise aboard a heavy cruiser, the USS Toledo. After a four year Navy tour, he took a short six month break during which he decided the coal mines were not for him so he began a 23 year Air Force career specializing in aircraft control and warning. He served his nation in the Korean War and is a combat veteran. In the early 1960's, he was one of the first crews to open the new Cheyenne Mountain complex in Colorado Springs, CO, the operational center of NORAD's ballistic missile detection system. He retired from the Air Force as a Master Sergeant in 1973 and then served for another 16 years providing security at the USAF Academy. He married Joyce Marie Crockett on March 5, 1952 and together they have three children: Aletha Darlene, John William and Colleen Yvonne. Robert has five grandchildren and five great grandchildren. His sister Geraldine Logan still resides in Fredericksburg, VA. Joyce and Robert were married over 60 years. He truly never met a stranger, and if you would listen, he would tell you his story...at least once or twice. After a motorcade escorted by the Patriot Guard Riders, he was laid to rest with full military honors on Friday, January 18th at the National Memorial Cemetery in Phoenix, AZ. He always said, "There's plenty of time to rest when you leave this earth." Now rest in peace, Shannon, you've earned it.
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Published in The Arizona Republic on Jan. 27, 2013