William M. Shaner, Jr. ’52 died August 15, 2012.
(view alumni profile - Log-in required)

Our classmate Bill Shaner passed away peacefully and surrounded by family on Aug. 15, 2012, after a short illness in Bridgeport, Conn.

            Bill was born in Philadelphia, the son of William M. Shaner Sr. and Marion Steele Shaner. He attended Old Penn Charter School and joined us at Amherst in the fall of 1948 as a member of the Class of 1952. When the Korean War (police action!) broke out in the summer of 1950, Bill joined the U.S. Marine Corps and went on to serve as a telephone lineman at various stateside bases. (Ed. Note: The writer took advantage of his college deferment and wasn’t called to active duty in the corps until he graduated; thereby arriving in Korea after the shooting had stopped.)

           Following his service Bill returned to Amherst, graduating in 1954, and then briefly attended law school, dropping out to pursue his advertising career in New York City. Over the years, Bill worked for a number of agencies, including Firestone and Associates, Turner & Feeney and Daniel & Charles., some of which no longer exist. His accounts included such clients as Lazy Boy, Ronzoni Pasta, International Paper and such billboard accounts as Coca Cola, R.J. Reynolds, Heublein, Seagrams and Pepsi. He retired in the early 1990s.

            Bill was well known for his keen intellect, honed by his education and love of debate and literature, probably inspired by our then in-resident poet Robert Frost. He was famous for his ability to finish the New York Times crossword puzzle between 125th Street and Grand Central Station. In his spare time, he enjoyed studying James Joyce and T.S. Eliot, as well as being a sketch artist.

            He is survived by his six children, 10 grandchildren and numerous nieces and nephews.

—Tim Westbay ’52

Read obituary