Michael Shane Shannon
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February 9, 1958 - February 24, 2013
Michael Shane Shannon, 55, passed away February 24, 2013, at his home in Boise, having lived a life of service, curiosity, and mayhem.
Born to Dorothy and Patrick Shannon on February 9, 1958, Michael, the seventh of twelve Shannon children, spent his youth fishing and swimming the municipal waterways of Nampa, memorizing commercial jingles with astonishing accuracy, and doing whatever he could to torment the sisters of St. Paul's Catholic School. At Nampa High School Michael was known as a radical, engaging in many undocumented "extracurricular activities."
After high school Michael decided he needed a little adventure and joined the United States Marine Corps. He served six years, frustrated several sergeants, and was honorably discharged in 1983 after being diagnosed with epilepsy.
When his military career ended, Michael traveled the Northwest, settling in Portland where he fished the Colombia River alongside his best friend Arthur. He developed a sharp knowledge of Native American history, artifacts, and lore, acquiring a particular affinity for Chief Joseph and the Nez Perce tribe.
Like Joseph, Michael was a man of few words, often preferring a rocking chair and a good western novel or James Taylor album to the company of others. When he did choose to speak it was usually to razz his brothers or nephews, crack a joke, or recite a poem. Here's one of his favorites:
"There was a little man had a wooden leg, had a right to borrow, had a right to beg, took two spools and an old tin can, made a little Chevy and the damned thing ran."
Humor was a constant theme of Michael's life. His laugh was booming and infectious.
Michael is survived by his mother, eight brothers, three sisters, and many nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his father, Patrick.
At Michael's request, there will be no services held and in lieu of flowers, please make a donation to the American Indian Educational Foundation.
Published in Idaho Press Tribune on Mar. 1, 2013