Rev. Dn. Howard Shannon
After serious complications following esophageal cancer surgery, Deacon Howard Shannon left this life peacefully on Friday, September 21, 2012, surrounded by his family as he was escorted into the Kingdom of Heaven.
Dn. Howard was born and raised in Atlanta, Georgia. He attended the University of Georgia where he met and married his college sweetheart, Gail, in June of 1966. In 1971 he moved his family to Santa Barbara. He became a very successful real estate developer of Self Storage facilities and management of commercial property. He opened Santa Barbara’s first storage facility 40 years ago and expanded his business throughout the country.
Dn. Howard was ordained to the deaconate in February of 1987, and exemplified the deaconate in his parish and in his community. He derived great joy in teaching Religious Education to the youth of his parish, and in helping those in need. He served for many years on the board of St. Innocent Orthodox Orphanage in Tijuana, Mexico, was instrumental in starting the building expansion of St. Barbara Orthodox Monastery in Ojai, and helped implement the starting of the Recovery Ranch House in Santa Ynez.
“What will we do without our Deacon Howard?” is the often repeated question heard since his passing. This question came from family, friends, business partners, employees – anyone whose life he had touched over his 69 years with us. Waitresses, workers around his home and sales people in local bagel and candy shops can’t imagine their daily routines without the warmth of his presence. He was generous to ANYONE in need – from all walks of life.
Dn. Howard’s warm and loving heart was obvious to all. His playful spirit and fun-loving personality never failed to brighten your day. We may not know what we will do without the presence of our dear deacon in our lives, but one thing we do know: he is in the arms of God, and it is truly well with his soul!
Dn. Howard was dedicated to the goal of building a beautiful house of worship for the church that he loved and served. For 22 years he headed the building project for Saint Athanasius Orthodox Church. The ground breaking for that dream was held in September, 2012, shortly before his death. We know that he will be actively and zealously praying for the completion of our new temple!