WESTPORT, Conn. – William M. Shaner Jr., formerly of Westport, died Aug. 15 at St. Vincent's Hospital in Bridgeport after a brief illness. He was 81.
Born in Philadelphia, he was the son of William M. Shaner Sr. and Marion Steele Shaner. He grew up in Wynnewood, Pa., and attended Old Penn Charter School. Shaner went on to attend Amherst College, where he was a member of the Chi Phi fraternity.
His college education was interrupted by service in the U.S. Marines during the Korean War. After graduating in 1954, he attended law school at the University of Pennsylvania before dropping out to move to New York City and pursue a career in advertising.
Shaner met his first wife and mother of his children, Phyllis Quinn Shaner of Westport, while living in New York. They raised a family of six children in Westport and Shaner was active at St. Luke Church and the Green’s Farm Association.
He also was involved with the YMCA Indian Guides, Cub Scout Pack 136, Boy Scout Troop 39, Westport Little League and various PTAs. He was known for his keen intellect honed by his great education and love of literature, his family said.
Shaner was known for his ability to finish the New York Times crossword puzzle between 125th Street and Grand Central. He enjoyed studying James Joyce and T.S. Eliot in his spare time. Shaner also was an accomplished sketch artist, delighting his children when they were young with his drawings.
He is survived by six children, William (Brynne) Shaner III, of Mamaroneck, N.Y., Jennifer Shaner (Dan) Bangser, of Westport, Susan (Dan Brodax) Shaner, of Bethel, Deirdre Shaner (Greg) Griffin, of Westport, Tom (Eve) Shaner, of New York, and Anne, of Brooklyn, N.Y.; eight grandchildren; and two stepsons, Sam and Luke Brodax.
Shaner also is survived by a sister, Betsy (Bill) Tomlinson; a brother, Robert (Deedee) Shaner; and many nieces and nephews. His second wife, Adele Mayers Shaner, predeceased him.
There will be a memorial service at 9:30 a.m. Sept. 3, at Assumption Church in Westport with a reception to follow at the church. As per his wishes, his remains will be cremated and his ashes scattered privately near Westport and Wynnewood.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to St. Vincent's Medical Center, 2800 Main St., Bridgeport, CT to support the staff of the seventh floor, or to Staples Tuition Grants Fund.