NEW LONDON -- Walter Eugene (Gene) Shannon Jr., 89, of New London passed away peacefully on November 11, 2017 at his home.

A memorial service was held at New London United Methodist Church on Tuesday, November 14. Visitation was held at the W.E. Shannon, Jr. Multi-Purpose Building at West Rusk High School on Monday, November 13.

Gene was born on May 11, 1928 in North Zulch, Texas, to Walter (Red) and Davy Shannon. He was preceded in death by his sister, Lou Ann Nethery, and brother David Shannon. He is survived by his wife, Adah Clark Shannon; son Danny Shannon and wife Marilyn of Fort Worth; daughter Sherry Schattie and husband Dan of Jupiter, Florida; grandchildren Kate Chastain, Emily Chastain, Jake Schattie, and Josh Schattie, and numerous nieces and nephews.

Gene graduated from Freeport High School, Tyler Junior College and the University of Houston. He played football for each school and was inducted into both the Tyler Jr. College Circle of Honor and the University of Houston Hall of Honor.  He met Adah at the University of Houston. They were married in 1952 and shared their lives for 65 years.

Following service in the U.S. Army from 1952-1954, he was drafted by the San Francisco 49ers, but decided on a career in education. He served the New London and West Rusk schools from 1954 to 1983 as coach, principal, and superintendent where he had a positive impact on the lives of countless students and teachers. Gene was a faithful and giving servant of the New London United Methodist Church.

He was a wonderful husband, father, and grandfather and a friend to many. He was gracious with his time and loved to share his life’s stories. His humor, wit and kindness will be missed by his family and numerous friends. 

Memorials, if desired, may be made to the New London United Methodist Church or charity of choice.

Online registration and condolences are available at

Special Sections