Thomas J.Shannahan – Lincoln

Thomas J.Shannahan – Lincoln

Thomas J.Shannahan, 78, of Lincoln, R.I., passed away unexpectedly on Thursday, September 2, 2021.

He was the beloved husband of Judith (Moon) Shannahan. Born in Central Falls, Tom was the eldest son of the late Thomas E. and Helen (Seikiera) Shannahan.

Tom graduated from Holy Trinity School in 1957 and Central Falls High School in 1960. He attended Johnson & Wales Business School for two years majoring in court reporting. He then entered the U.S. Air Force in January 1963, and after basic training, was sent to Military Justice School in Newport, R.I., from where he graduated with high honors. He proudly served his country as a court stenographer and legal specialist in the Staff Judge Advocate’s office. He was honorably discharged in 1967.

Tom earned his Bachelor of Arts Degree from the American College of Switzerland (1970), where he also coached basketball and was a ski instructor, and in 1990 earned his Master’s Degree in Library Science from the University of Rhode Island.

From 1989 to 2004, Tom was director of the Adams Memorial Library in Central Falls. He was also the founder of the Lysander Flagg Memorial Museum in 1999, located next door to the library, filling it with history and memorabilia of the city and its residents, including a special section dedicated to its veterans. He also co-chaired the Central Falls Veterans Memorial, in which a monument, dedicated to, and bearing the names of fallen soldiers from Central Falls while serving their country, still sits on the lawn in front of the now shuttered Memorial Museum.

He was considered Central Falls’ resident expert on area Civil War History, and brought to light, the famous letter that Major Sullivan Ballou (of R.I.) penned to his wife, Sarah, on July 14, 1861, before he died after being injured in what was the Civil War’s first major land battle (the Battle of Bull Run).

While the director of the Library, he was the keeper of a collection of paintings by Central Falls’ most famous artist, Lorenzo deNevers. (Besides his paintings of Presidents Eisenhower and F.D. Roosevelt, deNevers is said to have used a man sitting in Jenks Park as a model for his painting of Christ, which hangs in the Vatican.)

Tom was a William Blackstone Society honoree (1996) for his promotion of the Blackstone Valley’s history and culture.

He was a founding member of the Fenian Memorial Committee of America and a member of its board of advisors.

Tom was a member of the Disabled American Veterans, Lawrence E Redmond Chapter 3, and the Vietnam Veterans of America, Chapter 818.

Tom had a passion for reading, learning and sharing his knowledge, especially when it came to history.

He was a nature lover, dedicated to always keeping the many bird feeders in his yard filled all year long.

He enjoyed bike rides on the Blackstone Valley Bike Trail, walks in Lincoln Woods, the Meadow and Chase Farm. But, most of all, he enjoyed spending time with his wife, children, grandchildren and many friends.

In his younger years, he was an athlete and traveled extensively throughout Europe.

Besides his wife, Judy, he is survived by daughter, Rachel (Raymond) Latraverse; son, Brian (Jennifer) Wilson; granddaughter, Leah Milne (Tyler Rossi); grandson, Cooper Wilson; brothers Robert (Jan), Daniel (Joanne), and Edward (Diane) Shannahan; several nieces, nephews, cousins, sisters-in-law, brothers-in-law and many close friends. He was the brother of the late Paul Shannahan.

Tom was loved and respected by all who knew him. He was a kind and caring person, who would lend a hand whenever needed. He will be forever missed and always remembered.

A Mass of Christian Burial, to which family and friends are invited, will be celebrated on Friday, Sept. 17, 2021, at 10 a.m., in St. Jude’s Church, 301 Front St., Lincoln, R.I., immediately followed by Military Honors on the church grounds. In honoring Tom’s wishes, visiting hours are respectfully omitted and burial will be private.

Memorial gifts in Tom’s memory may be made to St. Jude’s Church or to any Veterans organization of your choice. For online condolences, please visit www.thekeefefuneralhome.com .