Harriett (Culp) and William Shaner gave birth to William Richard Shaner – “Bill” for short – in Altoona, PA. During a childhood that may or may not have involved shooting pistols at stop signs out the window of a moving car, he still managed to earn the nickname “Wimpy.”
After attending Altoona Catholic High School, where he anchored the football team’s offensive line with his future brother-in-law Henry Glunt, Wimpy joined the Marine Corps. His tour of service, started at Camp Lejune and took him to Puerto Rico where he enjoyed local Rum while protecting our freedom.
After his honorable discharge a career in sales started with Hershey Ice Cream. He married Illene Glunt on Thanksgiving Day in 1960 and together they raised four children: William, Timothy, Thomas, and Lisa (Stevens).
A four-season fisherman and a jack-of-all trades, he moved his family from Pennsylvania to Milford in 1974. He parlayed his sales experience with Continental Coffee into his own business, The Coffee Man. He retired from The Coffee Man in 2003 and settled into a life of full-time fishing and fixing on North Pond in Hopkinton.
He gave back to the community for years through the Milford Lions Club, spending several as the club’s president. Shortly after Illene died, in 2014, Bill took his wife’s ashes on a cross-country tour in a one-bed camper van. A few years later, he moved to East Wareham and met Claudette Cummings, whom he loved until he died. “Pappy,” as his grandchildren lovingly called him, was a lot of things. But he was no wimp.
He passed away on Feb. 16 at the age of 81, and is survived by his sister Becky Schraff; his four adult children and their spouses; and five grandchildren: Billy, Emily, Rosalie, Anna, and James.
An interment ceremony for Bill and Illene will be held at the Massachusetts National Cemetery in Bourne on a future date.
In lieu of flowers, please send a donation to the Marine Toys for Tots/William R Shaner memorial donation page, Orleans, MA @ http://tiny.cc/PappyTFT.
Or please support your local Food Bank in his name.