Posted 7/03/19 (Wed)
Richard “Dick” passed away on Sunday, June 23, 2019, at the Sidney Health Center, Sidney, Mont.
Richard “Dick” Shannon was born on April 24, 1937, in a house just outside of Alexander, N.D., to E.D. and Hildegard (Hoerner) Shannon. Dick had one brother, Don, and two sisters, Betty and Colleen. Dick was raised on a ranch south of Alexander and went to school at Moline and Alexander schools. While learning at Moline, he had between seven to eleven other schoolmates in the one-room schoolhouse; however, he was the only one in his grade level all eight years he attended there. He often shared about one day when he was in the fourth grade and, during morning recess, the older boys decided to lock the teacher in the schoolhouse so they could sneak off with their horses and lunch buckets to go have a picnic a couple miles away. Then he would laugh, and say what they didn’t expect was that the girls would just head home and tell on them.
Life on the North Dakota prairies provided many lessons about the value of hard work, risk-taking, and perseverance. Farming, ranching, and horse training were the pillars of this education. His dad often put him to work, giving him man-sized jobs from a very early age. His mother, a trained musician and teacher, took him to church, taught him the art of being neighborly, and unsuccessfully tried to give him piano lessons.
As soon as Dick was able, he began working as a ranch hand for area ranchers. He spent many long days in the saddle while working in the government pasture. Using skills he had picked up from his dad, he would go on to break many horses and doctor countless cattle. In 1954, he was married to Carol Benson, and he soon began his new and important role as father with the arrival of son, Mike. His young family grew quickly, welcoming Dave, Tim, Terry, and Pat over the next several years. During this season of life, Dick had moved his family into town in Fairview. Dick was soon to be found engaged in community service and entrepreneurial endeavors.
In 1961, he started working with Bud Starr to get a boxing team set up in Fairview. It began as a fundraiser for the high school football field lights. His own dad had taught him some of the fundamentals of boxing as a child, so he was very interested in seeing the club form for the local youth. Dick began to coach, training young fighters in the Civic Center. Some of his boxers were National Golden Gloves Champions and even an Olympic alternate. Dick was involved in the annual “Fight of Champions” as the trainer-manager and promoter.
In 1964, he began hauling fuel and quickly became a familiar face throughout the Mon-Dak region. He eventually opened a full-service gas station in Fairview. In 1976, Dick married Penny Dahl. Together, they worked to establish themselves in farming and ranching, while also operating Shannon Oil. Dick and Penny would have two sons, Eddy and Matt, making him the proud father of seven boys. Dick put in many long hours hauling fuel during the day and operating the ranch late into the night. He treasured the time that he could spend on horseback, with his family and neighbors, working cattle and checking pastures. And when the doors were opened at Shannon Oil, Dick and Penny could often be heard sharing a laugh as they worked side by side. The coffee was always on and one could usually find a donut and good story to go along with it. The humor shared between the two of them made the station a favorite place to hang out and catch up on the local news. One of Dick’s true joys in life was to spend time visiting with his family and friends. Many stories would be told over a cup of coffee or while leaning against the side of a pickup.
Dick’s accomplishments were many, but a few noteworthy ones include being recognized by the Fairview Boxing Club for his service, being named Young Man of the Year by the Fairview Jaycees, and being the honoree for Fairview’s Old Timer’s Festival. He was a member of Zion Lutheran Church, the Fairview Athletic Club, served two terms on the Fairview School Board, and over twenty years on the Fairview Volunteer Fire Department.
Dick is survived by his seven sons; Mike, Dave (Teta), Tim, Terry, Pat, Eddy (Heidi), and Matt (Mickayla); seven grandchildren, Elizabeth, Erin, Hailey, Ricky, Jacob, Alexandra, and Clara; and four step-grandchildren, Tim, Jeff, Monte and Monta.
Dick was preceded in death by his wife, Penny; parents, E.D. and Hildegard Shannon; siblings, Don (Vi) Shannon, Betty (Hank) Sather, and Colleen Tyree.
Funeral services for Richard were held at 10 a.m., Tuesday, July 2, 2019, at the Zion Lutheran Church in Fairview. Pastor Roberta Pierce officiated. Interment was in the Fairview Cemetery, Fairview, N.D., under the care of the Fulkerson-Stevenson Funeral Home of Sidney. Visitation was held from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., at the funeral home and one hour before services at the church. Remembrances, condolences and pictures may be shared with the family at www.fulkersons.com.