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Shannon-Bryan Mortuary
137 East Maple Avenue
Orange, CA 92866
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RALPH WILLIAM SHANNON


1915 - 2014 | Obituary Condolences
RALPH WILLIAM SHANNON Obituary
Shannon, Ralph William

October 27, 1915-February 23, 2014

Orange resident, Ralph William Shannon, 98 died peacefully at the home of his son and daughter-in-law, Don and Nancy Shannon in Kailua, Hawaii with them by his side after a brief hospitalization.

There will be a funeral service on Tuesday, March 18, 2014 at the Shannon-Bryan Mortuary, 137 E. Maple Ave., Orange, CA. The funeral is at noon with a private graveside service to follow.

Ralph was born October 27, 1915 in Fort Dodge, Iowa to Rex and Elfrieda Shannon. Ralph and his brother Rex grew up in Garner, Iowa where his father opened a funeral home and furniture store. The family moved to Orange, California where the original Shannon mortuary was founded in 1933. Ralph attended Santa Ana College and graduated in 1935 with an AA degree; he went to Gray's Business College for law and accounting courses and also attended a mortuary college in Los Angeles.

In 1936 Ralph rode his motorcycle back to Iowa to propose marriage to his high school sweetheart, Delores Kloock, of Garner. They were married in 1937 and returned to live in Orange. Their children, Michael, Julianna and Donald were born and raised in Orange.

In the late 1930's Ralph took lessons and earned a private pilot's license at the old Eddie Martin Airport, forerunner of today's John Wayne Airport. Ralph enlisted in the Army Air Corp after Pearl Harbor and the beginning of World War II. He received his commission at Ft. Sumner, New Mexico and served as an instructor in both primary and advanced aircraft. In 1944, Lieutenant Shannon was transferred to the 27th Air Depot Group at Finchhaven, New Guinea. Following VJ Day in 1945, Ralph's Air Depot Group was transferred to Japan where he concluded his active military career. Upon returning home he served in the Air Force Reserves and retired in 1963 with the rank of Lieutenant Colonel.

Ralph and Delores purchased the Shannon Mortuary from his parents in 1946. They operated the business until 1980 when family illnesses necessitated a time away from working. Ralph and Randy Bryan formed Shannon-Bryan Mortuary which continues today in the original location in Old Towne Orange.

Ralph believed in serving his community. Some of the ways he served was President of the Walther League at Immanuel Lutheran Church in Orange and for all of Southern California, and he later became a member of St. John's Lutheran Church in Orange where he served in many capacities. Ralph was affiliated with Orange Jr. and Sr. Chamber of Commerce, Lion's Club, including serving as District Governor, Boy Scouts, Sons of American Revolution, and California Funeral Director's Association. Others include the American Legion, Veterans of Foreign Wars, Military Officers Association, and the Retired Officers Association.

Ralph is predeceased by his parents, brother, wife Delores, and beloved daughter, Julianna.

Ralph is survived by his son Michael, and son Donald and wife Nancy Shannon. He is also survived by his grandchildren, Debra and husband Bruce Karlan, Jeffrey and wife Suzy Hall, Heather and husband Mark Kleveter, Tammy Shannon, and Lindsey Shannon and husband Henry Keala Kapu. His great-grandchildren include: Kayla Karlan, Delaney and Paxton Hall and Joshua, Madeline, Caleb, Levi, Gabrielle, Elijah, Titus, and Annelise Kleveter. His great- granddaughter Nawai Kapu was recently born.

Ralph is also survived by other extended family.

Burial will be at Fairhaven Memorial Cemetery alongside his wife, Delores. SHANNON BRYAN MORTUARY


Published in Orange County Register on Mar. 16, 2014
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