William John (Bud) Shanahan

December 22, 1929 ~ February 27, 2021 (age 91)


William John "Bud" Shanahan, Jr., of Madras, a much loved husband and father, died on February 27, 2021, following a long illness. He was 91 years old.

Born in Wagoner, Oklahoma, on December 22, 1929, the son of William John Shanahan and Ina Jane (Stark) Shanahan, Bud lived a particularly American life. He struggled through the Great Depression as the member of a farming family faced with the hardship of the Dust Bowl. Those early days instilled in him the value of hard work, a value he never forgot and one he taught to his children. Moving to St. Helens, Oregon, with his family in 1942, Bud attended high school in St. Helens and Scappoose, Oregon, graduating from St. Helens High School in 1947. He enlisted in the U.S. Coast Guard in 1948. He first served as a radioman on the patrol gunboat, USCGC Winnebago, undertaking Pacific patrols during the Korean War. He also served on the USCGC Ivy, a buoy tender, until his discharge in 1952.

He returned to Oregon and attended University of Oregon on the GI bill. After college, he sold cars at Madras Main Street Garage alongside his fraternity brother, Rich Conroy. An honest, successful salesman, Bud connected with customers, learning from them and helping them select the right car and avoid the wrong ones. A true believer in customer service, he often rescued customers who were broken down even years after he sold them a car. Following his two decades as a car salesman, he spent two decades selling insurance and earning a reputation as an insurance man you didn't mind having a meeting with.

Bud loved to read, particularly books about U.S. history, the American West, and the Civil War. He loved to tell a story and he told stories people wanted to hear. Bud also enjoyed hunting and fishing. An avid horseman, he enjoyed raising them, riding and team roping. Believing in always having an active life and mind, he turned to stamp collecting in his retirement.

Bud was preceded in death by his parents; his sister, Dorothy (Dexter) Hansen; and his son-in-law, Knut Nordness. He is survived by his wife of 61 years, Marguerite (Kelly) Shanahan, of Madras; and his children, Pat Shanahan and Sean Shanahan (Kathleen McGill) both of Seattle, and Liam Shanahan, of Portland, all of whom he taught to rope a steer, find the way home without a map, and work hard and not complain.

A memorial service will be held at a later, safer time.

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