MACHIAS – Ronald “Ronnie” Willard Shannon, 57, passed away unexpectedly April 12, 2009, at his home. Ronnie was born Nov. 3, 1951, in Eastport. He is the son of the late Mickie Shannon and Carolyn (Pottle) Shannon of South Portland. He grew up in Eastport and moved to South Portland in 1967. After attending South Portland High School he entered the U.S. Army in 1969, and served in Vietnam. Upon his discharge, Ronnie attended a heavy equipment school in Homestead, Fla. Ronnie worked in the oil fields in Kansas and Oklahoma for several years before moving back to Maine in 1986. He established his own well drilling company, Shannon Drilling, in Machias, in 1994. In March 2005 he was diagnosed with a rare lymphoma. He was treated at the VA Hospital in Togus and then sent to Vanderbilt Medical University Hospital, Tennessee, to have a stem cell transplant. He surprised his doctors, family and friends, by “sailing” through his treatments and recovery. Upon Ronnie’s return home, his recovery was greatly helped by the generosity of his many Machias friends. He was truly delighted and overwhelmed by all the volunteer work done at his new home in Machias while he was being treated. Ronnie truly was one in a million. He had a heart of gold and there wasn’t anyone who he wouldn’t give a helping hand to. Throughout his life he touched his family and friends with great kindness and generosity. Christmas time was always a favorite of his, as he truly enjoyed and engaged in spoiling family members of all ages. Ronnie was a very patriotic man. He was a longtime member of both the Veterans of Foreign Wars and the American Legion. He thoroughly enjoyed decking out his Shannon Drilling Truck with many American flags and as much candy as the truck would hold. He paraded this vehicle down the streets of Machias and Eastport every Fourth of July. He also made sure that any serviceman that needed a well drilled got it, whether they could afford to pay or not. Ronnie loved the company of others and truly enjoyed the time he spent hanging out with friends at the garage on Route 1. Ronnie was an avid fisherman who relished being on his beloved boat, The ‘Old Bear. Ronnie had some great fishing trips in Hawaii and the Caribbean, and especially loved fishing in the Keys. Along with his mother of South Portland, he is survived by the love of his life, Annette-Mary Gillespie of Machias; his sister, Judy Shannon; his brother and his wife, Jesse and Jill Shannon of South Portland; favorite nieces and nephew, Carolyn Hoffman of Falmouth, Krystal Shannon of South Portland and Shawn Shannon of South Portland; and beloved aunt, Mary Alice Pottle of Portland. Ronnie is also survived by several cousins and one in particular, Stanley MacNichol of Perry. He will be sadly missed by Annette’s children, whom he loved as though they were his own, Nicole M. Johnson and her husband, Wayne, of Marshfield, Molly E. Erickson and her husband, Justin, of Bucks Harbor and Caleb Q. Look of South Carolina. He was known and loved as “Papa Ronnie” by Aidan Lee and Gavin Broc Erickson, Breckin Gooch, Emerson Johnson and Quentin Look. A celebration of life will be held 2:30 p.m. Wednesday, April 15, at Machias Valley Baptist Church, Broadway, with Pastor Jeff Henderson officiating. Relatives and friends are invited to visit with the family 1:30 p.m. until the hour of service Wednesday at the church. After cremation, inurnment with full military honors will be held 10 a.m. Friday, April 17, at Hillside Cemetery (West), High Street, Eastport. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Disabled American Veterans’, P.O. Box 14301, Cincinnati, OH 45250-0301. A service of Bragdon-Kelley Funeral Home, Machias.