Obituary: Shannon, Earl F.

Earl F. Shannon, 80, of Carriage Drive, a retired state fire marshal and former teacher, basketball coach and member of the Boston Celtics, died July 8, 2002, at Kent County Hospital after being stricken while playing golf at the West Warwick Country Club. He was the husband of Susan "Dally" (Jackson) Shannon.
Born in Providence, a son of the late Thomas E. and Madeline (Hunt) Shannon, he had lived in East Greenwich for many years before moving to Warwick 15 years ago.
A fire marshal for 10 years, Mr. Shannon had served as chief deputy fire marshal and later as state fire marshal, before retiring in 1984. He also had served as the director of safety and security at Rhode Island College, a fraud and arson investigator at the American Insurance Association and a teacher at Pawtucket High School.
A 1939 graduate of Pawtucket High School and a 1943 graduate of the University of Rhode Island, he played basketball for both schools.
After college, Mr. Shannon had played professional basketball for the former Providence Steamrollers and later for the Boston Celtics, in the 1948-49 season. He was a member of the Retired NBA Players Association. He also had been a freshman basketball coach at URI, Providence College and Bryant College.
An Air Force veteran of both World War II, when he served in Italy, and the Korean War, he served as a pilot and 1st lieutenant.
Mr. Shannon was a member of the West Warwick Country Club and the former FBI Agents Association.
Besides his wife, he leaves two daughters, Susan S. Naysnerski of Narragansett and Erlene Shannon-Gaffney of Newfane, Vt.; three brothers, William and Raymond Shannon, both of Pawtucket, and Robert Shannon of Carlisle, Pa.; a sister, Barbara Goulart of Little Compton; three grandchildren and two great-granddaughters. He was the father of the late Cynthia S. Blessing and a brother of the late Thomas and Donald Shannon.
The funeral was held from the Carpenter-Jenks Quaker Lane Chapel, 659 East Greenwich Ave., West Warwick, with a Mass of Christian Burial in Our Lady of Mercy Church, Fourth Avenue, East Greenwich. Burial with military honors was in Rhode Island Veterans Memorial Cemetery, Exeter.
In lieu of flowers, gifts to the American Heart Association would be appreciated.


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