Paul David Shankland, age 59 of Cedar Key, FL passed away Tuesday, October 20, 2020. He was born March 6, 1961 in Florence, Italy to Joseph H and Karlyn S Shankland.
Dr. Paul D. Shankland, a native of Greensboro, North Carolina, graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy in 1983 with a bachelor's degree in pure mathematics. During his subsequent 25 years of active duty, he earned a master's degree in astronomy (with distinction) from the University of Western Sydney, and his Ph.D. in Astronomy from James Cook University. His thesis research was on optical and millimeter radio detections, and dynamic properties of Earth-like planets and Kuiper belts about M dwarf stars.
Upon graduation from USNA Dr. Shankland served aboard USS SELLERS (DDG-11), where he earned his Surface Warfare Officer designation and participated in Persian Gulf protection operations. In 1986 he laterally transferred to the aviation community and earned his wings, becoming an E-2C Hawkeye pilot.
Dr. Shankland served in squadrons aboard the carriers USS FORREST AL (CV-59) and USS GEORGE WASHINGTON (CVN-73), where he served in Desert Storm/Provide Comfort, several subsequent middle-Eastern operations, and in the Adriatic and Kosovo/Bosnia. He was carrier pilot "Top Hook" twice and was nominated the 1991 "Hawkeye of the Year". He also served as an Instructor pilot at VAW-120, and then at Carrier AEW Wing Atlantic.
From 1996 to 1999, and then Commander Shankland served joint interagency Task Force East's Coast Guard admiral for Central/South American special operations. He returned to sea in 1999, joining USS THEODORE ROOSEVELT (CVN71) as the Strike Operations Officer, where he concurrently flew with VF-102 (Tomcats) and HS-11 (Seahawk Helicopter Combat Search and Rescue). In 2001,Paul led the TR war planning effort for its "9/11" response deployment to Afghanistan.
Dr. Shankland retired from Aviation with 3800 Flight Hour, 374 arrested landings on 12 aircraft carriers and he earned 42 medals, decorations, and campaign awards.
He owned and locally flew a popular red-with-white antique 1939 Waco Cabin Biplane powered by a 300hp Lycoming Radial Engine; a plane reported to have ferried General Eisenhower at one time during WWII.
He is survived by his beloved wife and best friend Amanda Susann Shankland; mother, Karlyn S Shankland; sons, Nick and Rudger both of Denver, CO, five step children, Rodrick, Andrew, Lilly, Wesley and Molly all of Flagstaff, AZ.; sister, Margo Ross; parents-in-law Joe and Liz Haughey, and many other heart's touched throughout his life.
In lieu of flowers consider a worthy cause for a donation, Paul would like to suggest Naval Academy Physics Department Astronomy, or the Fallen Aviators Fund, Commander AEW Wing Atlantic, Norfolk, V.A.
A celebration of life will be held Tuesday, October 27, 2020 at 2:00 p.m. in the chapel of WILLIAMS-THOMAS FUNERAL HOME WESTAREA 823 NW 143rd Street, Newberry, Florida 32669.
A celebration of life will also be held in Flagstaff, Az. at a later date.
Please visit his memorial page www.williamsthomasfuneralhome.com
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WILLIAMS THOMAS WESTAREA