Michael Shahan Scholarship Fund
TYPE OF FUND: Scholarship DATE ESTABLISHED: May 1996
PURPOSE: To provide scholarships for students from St. George, Clover, or Licking districts, to be given in the name of a San Antonio, Texas resident who was a native of St. George.
DISTRIBUTION: To be determined by the Scholarship Committee of TCF with approval of the Board of Directors.
VARIANCE POWER: If, in the judgment of the TCF Board of Directors, the restrictions and conditions of the fund become unnecessary, incapable of fulfillment or inconsistent with the charitable needs of the community, the TCF Board of Directors maintains the right to modify the terms of this fund. TCF has exclusive legal control over any contributed assets.
FUNDING: Initial funding in his memory and honor, by his family.
BACKGROUND: Michael Ellsworth Shahan was born in the town of St. George, August 26, 1917. He attended St. George Grade School, graduated from Parsons High School with the class for1934, completed a two year Standard Normal Teacher’s Diploma at Davis and Elkins College in Elkins, West Virginia, and taught school two years in Tucker County at Macedonia and Hobson. Later he completed an AB Degree at George Washington University, an MS Degree at Plattsburgh New York State University, and extensive postmaster’s course work.
In December 1940, he entered the United States Air Force as an aviation cadet earning his pilot’s wings in August 1941. The attack on Pearl Harbor came three months later. During the summer of 1942 his fighter group (75 P38 airplanes) in a historic ferry movement flew across the North Atlantic to England. Enroute, his squadron was temporarily held in Iceland to augment the Icelandic defense. From alert status there, he took off, intercepted and shot down a German four engine Focke-Wulf Kurier patrol bomber. That happened to be the first German airplane shot down by the U.S. Air Forces in the European Theater during WWII. For that action he was awarded the Silver Star Medal. Then, continuing on to England and the entire North African Campaign he received the Distinguished Flying Cross, Air Medal with six Oak Leaf Clusters, and many other decorations.
With 25 years of service, in June 1964, he retired from the Air Force as a Lieutenant Colonel. He returned to teaching and counseling at Northern Virginia Community College. From that college he again retired in November 1981 as a Professor Emeritus. He was inducted into the Parsons High School Hall of Fame in May 1994.
Michael always called Tucker County home. His father, the late Cyrus Walter Shahan (1879-1961) taught elementary school for 13 terms in Tucker County (1901-1914), then was RFD I mail carrier out of St. George for 34 years. They both loved those mountains, particularly Pifer and Zion.
In addition, Michael’s two sons made frequent summer trips to St. George and vicinity of which they have very fond and lasting memories. Because of three generation of fond memories of the Cheat River Valley in Tucker County, and more than 100 years of family service there, this scholarship was designated by his sons for college students from that area.
Michael Ellsworth Shahan died May 6, 2006.