Robert L. Shannon

Robert L. Shannon, 92, of Columbia, passed away Wednesday, December 5, 2018. Born on May 15, 1926 in Fort Wayne, Indiana, he was a son of the late Grover and Vera Shannon.

Bob served in the U. S. Navy during World War II and received his bachelor’s degree from Wittenberg College in Springfield, Ohio where he lettered in varsity tennis and basketball and was a member of Phi Gamma Delta fraternity. He earned a master’s degree from Ball State University in Muncie, Indiana, and his doctorate in education from Florida State University. He taught children and young people in all grades and subjects as well as coaching tennis and basketball.

After serving on the faculty of his alma mater Wittenberg College, he joined the charter faculty at the University of South Florida in Tampa in 1960 where he was professor of education and assistant dean for undergraduate programs. He was instrumental in the design of the USF College of Education building. Traveling with support of Educational Facilities Laboratory, he studied innovative buildings and education programs across the country. Subsequently, he served as EFL’ s principal consultant for teacher education facilities. For several years, he directed study abroad programs; first in Guatemala and then for several years in London, England. He didn’t believe students should go to London and spend time sitting in tablet arm chair desks. Rather, he made the city the curriculum, immersing students in all aspects of British life and culture.

He received the 1972 Mortar Board Award for Teaching Excellence at USF and in 2007 was named distinguished alumnus of South Side High School in Fort Wayne, Indiana. He was the author of three books and several journal articles. But tennis was his passion. He traveled widely and never missed an opportunity to play tennis, making new friends both on and off the court wherever he went. He was a U.S. Professional Tennis Association certified teaching pro and over many years taught several people, young and old, the game of tennis.

He especially appreciated good books, interesting words, impeccable grammar, pretty girls, stimulating conversation and enjoyed a long shower and a drink of Scotch whiskey in the evening. And he usually had a mischievous glint in his eye.

He is survived by his wife, Donna; daughter, Susi Long and son-in-law Jan Long of Columbia; daughter, Jennifer Shannon of Tucson, Arizona and granddaughter, Kelli Long currently living in Yerevan, Armenia. He was predeceased by his parents, Vera and Grover Shannon; his sisters, Mildred Oswald and Marjorie Shannon, as well as many friends and former colleagues.

He was a very special person to all who were fortunate enough to know him and he will live in their hearts forever.

A visitation will be held at a later date at Shives Funeral Home, Trenholm Road Chapel.

Memorials may be made to Leeza’s Care Connection, 201 St. Andrews Road, Columbia, SC 29210 or Wittenberg University, 200 W. Ward Street, Springfield, OH 45504.

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