ONEONTA – Jerry A Shannon, Jr., SUNY Oneonta professor emeritus in science education and a decorated World War II veteran, died peacefully on May 30, 2017, at Fox Nursing Home, a day before his 93 birthday.
He was born March 31, 1924, on Shannon Hill in Meshoppen, Pa., the son of Jeremiah (Jerry) A. Shannon and Grace Roach Shannon.
He graduated from Meshoppen High School. In 1942, he enlisted in the Army and served with the 78th (Lightning) Division in three World War II campaigns in the European Theater of Operations (Rhineland, Ardennes, and Central Europe) as a member of a machine gun platoon.
He was awarded the Combat Infantry Badge with the accompanying Bronze Star Medal, the Purple Heart, the Presidential Unit Citation and the World War II Occupation (Germany) medal. He was honorably discharged in 1946. He visited the World War II Monument in Washington, DC in 2009 as a participant in the Honor Flight program.
Attending college on the GI Bill, he earned a Bachelor of Science degree at the State Teachers’ College, Mansfield, Pa. (now Mansfield University); a Master of Arts degree at Peabody (now Vanderbilt University), Nashville, Tenn.; and a Doctor of Education degree at Cornell.
A science educator, Jerry taught high school biology in Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Indiana and New York. At the college level, he taught at Wisconsin State University in Oshkosh, Iowa State Teachers College (now University of Northern Iowa) in Cedar Falls and the SUNY Oneonta, where he served as chairman of the Science Education Department.
He retired from SUNY Oneonta after 33 years of service and became professor emeritus. He was primarily concerned with preparing teachers at the secondary level and local environmental-oriented science at the elementary level.
He was involved with the National Audubon Society and the Delaware-Otsego Audubon Society, as well as the Science Teachers Association of New York State, the United University Professions and the Greater Oneonta Historical Society.
He was charter and life member as well as past commander of Davenport Memorial Post 487 of the Veterans of Foreign Wars; past commander of the Veterans of Foreign Wars Council and past historian of the Department of NY Veterans of Foreign Wars. He was also a life member of Oneonta Chapter 200 Disabled American Veterans, serving many years as treasurer, and a life member of the 78th Veterans Association.
Jerry is survived by daughter, Kathleen Ann Shannon Seattle, Wash.; daughter, Maureen Ann Shannon Salzer and Matthew Salzer of Tucson, Ariz., and grandchildren Timothy and Alison; daughter, Lizabeth Ann Shannon of Oneonta; son, John Aaron Shannon and Heather Shannon of Jacksonville, N.C. and grandchildren, Connor and Elizabeth; cousin, Jayne Wheeler of Binghamton; nieces, nephews and their spouses and children.
He was predeceased by his wife, the former Collette Joan Lake, to whom he was married for 56 years and sisters, Dorothy of Meshoppen, and Mae Shannon Grose of Laceyville, Pa.
A memorial service will be held at the First United Methodist church in Oneonta this summer and inurnment will be in the Jersey Hill Cemetery, Auburn Center, Pa.
In lieu of flowers the family wishes memorial contributions be made to either the Delaware-Otsego Audubon Society, PO Box 544, Oneonta, NY 13820, the Disabled American Veterans, PO Box 14301, Cincinnati, OH 45250-0301 or to the charity of one’s choice in loving memory of Jerry A Shannon, Jr. Condolences to the family may be offered online by visiting www.grummonsfuneralhome.com.
Arrangements are by the Lester R. Grummons Funeral Home of Oneonta.