Andover Townsman, Andover, MA

Townspeople

June 13, 2013

A lasting gift

A lasting gift in memory of Andover state trooper

When the grand opening for the new $40 million, 69,000-square-foot Health and Social Sciences building at UMass Lowell was held in April, there was also a smaller, more intimate gathering inside that attracted the attention of just a few people.

It was the dedication of the Lt. Col. Michael B. Shanahan Conference Room for the Criminal Justice Department. There, family, friends and college staff gathered to remember the years of dedicated service offered by the longtime Andover resident and state trooper, who died in 2006 from throat cancer.

Shanahan’s widow, Diane Shanahan, who still lives in the home at 47 Dascomb Road that the couple shared, said the naming of the conference room in honor of her late husband was a testament to his character.

“Mike was humble, and unassuming,” she said. “But he was quite an accomplished individual.”

Shanahan, whose family was originally from Lowell, grew up in Dracut. He served two tours of duty during the Vietnam War, receiving numerous awards before being honorably discharged in 1970.

He enlisted as a Massachusetts State Trooper in 1971, rising to the rank of lieutenant colonel before retiring in 1996 after 25 years on the force.

In 1981, he graduated with honors from Northern Essex Community College in Haverhill. Then in 1985, he graduated magna cum laude from UMass Lowell with a bachelor’s degree in law and justice.

He went on to earn a master’s degree in public administration, again magna cum laude, from Harvard University in 1994. In 1998, he joined Bank of America as senior corporate security investigator/manager.

In 2006, as his second career in security was taking off, he was stricken with throat cancer. Having never smoked cigarettes or consumed alcohol, the disease was a shock to everyone, Diane Shanahan said. She said her husband’s illness may have had something to do with the use of Agent Orange, a toxic defoliant sprayed on the jungles of Vietnam while he was serving there. He died that year.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Townspeople
  • AT HOWARD KOH

    U.S. DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES/Courtesy photo Dr. Howard Koh will step down as U.S. assistant secretary for health after five years to rejoin Harvard School of Public Health this fall in a new position in its Department of Health Policy and Management.

    Koh to rejoin Harvard School of Public Health Posted 8 days ago 1 Photo
  • 48 locals to pedal in Pan-Mass Challenge Posted 8 days ago
  • AT HANNAH CURRIE

    Courtesy photo Hannah Currie is spending 10 days this summer becoming immersed in the music industry at GRAMMY Camp in Los Angeles.

    Currie hits note at LA's GRAMMY Camp Posted 8 days ago 1 Photo
  • South Church names new senior pastor Posted 15 days ago
  • AT BOYS GIRLS CLUB GOLF1

    COURTESY PHOTO Andover residents Patrick James, left, Adam Geaslen, Ryan Byrd and Dan Bryant claimed first place at the 35th annual Boys & Girls Club of Lawrence Golf Tournament at Indian Ridge Country Club in town.

    Local foursome aces Boys & Girls Club tourney Posted 15 days ago 2 Photos
  • AT LOCKS SISTERS2

    COURTESY PHOTO The Marble sisters --Anna, 8, left, and Isabel, 11 -- post-donatin to Locks of Love.

    Sisters pair up to donate pony tails to Locks of Love Posted 15 days ago 4 Photos
  • AT HOST1

    DESI SMITH/Staff photo Former Andover residents Dana Cohen and his wife, Ginny, back, left, have regularly hosted foreign exchange students since 1989. Farrah Moussa, back right, from Egypt, and Paula Valverde, front right, from Spain, are the latest students to spend a year with the Cohens, who now live in Gloucester.

    Former Andover couple welcomes exchange students for quarter-century Posted 15 days ago 4 Photos
  • Thursday, July 3, 2014
  • LENO1

    FILE PHOTO Jay Leno, who honed his comedy skills growing up in Andover, will receive the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor this fall during a performance at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington.

    In good comedy company Posted 22 days ago 2 Photos
  • COMMUNITY TRUST2

    ACT 3.jpg Susan Stott, third from left, accepts the Opening Doors to Affordable Housing in Andover Award from Andover Community Trust directors, from left, Don Schroeder, treasurer; John Pearson, president; and Joan Johnson, clerk.

    Affordable housing advocates honored Posted 22 days ago 2 Photos
  • AT TABIT

    Salim Tabit

    Townspeople in the News Posted 22 days ago 1 Photo

Pictures of the Week
Stocks