Michael J. Shannon

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Gainesville - Michael J. Shannon, 66, of Gainesville, Florida, passed away on Thursday, January 23, 2014. He was surrounded by his family members.

Michael was born December 2, 1947, to Paul and Marge Shannon in Sioux City, Iowa, and graduated from East High School in 1966, and Briar Cliff College (now Briar Cliff University) in 1970. After graduation he moved to New York City, to begin his career with the United States Department of Agriculture. Later he transferred to Maryland and continued to work for the USDA for many years, and then he moved to Gainesville, Florida, in 1995 where he retired in 2006 after 36 years of public service. He retired as USDA's State Plant Health Director.

During his career, Mike played a key role in many international trade negotiations that opened markets for US agricultural commodities, managed some of this nation's most diverse and complex agricultural quarantine inspection activities at our international ports of entry, and was a recognized leader in dealing with many exotic invasive species impacting Florida to include multiple fruit fly eradication programs and a variety of citrus and ornamental plant pest and disease issues.

He is survived by his wife of 43 years, Patricia (Talley) Shannon, his children, Katie Shepard and Chris Shannon of Gainesville, Florida, a brother, David Shannon of Newton, Iowa, a sister Mary Pat Widrowicz of Sioux City, Iowa, and two grandchildren.

Mike was a hardworking man with a great sense of humor and a deep love for his family and nature.

A private service was held. Memorials are suggested in his name to the Kanapaha Botanical Gardens, 4700 SW 58th Dr,Gainesville, FL 32608.

Published in Gainesville Sun from Jan. 30 to Jan. 31, 2014
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