Friday, April 26, 2019

Varyon Cullie Shannon (1910-1989)

From the Shreveport Times, January 26, 1969. 

  Two-term Louisiana state representative Varyon Cullie "V.C." Shannon is the first profile added to the site in well over a month, and hiding behind that unusual name lies the story of a man who, prior to entering politics, was engaged as an engineer in the Army Corps of Engineers and later held the post of executive director of the Caddo Levee District. A native of Mississippi, Varyon Cullie Shannon was born in Port Gibson in that state on May 2, 1910, the son of John Oscar and Pearl Van Shannon
   While information regarding Shannon's early life remains scant, it is known that he attended both the Port Gibson High School and the Port Gibson College and in the early 1930s he married to Lillian Claire Wood (1912-1974). The couple later had three children, D. Kenneth, Varyon Stacey (1934-2009) and Connie Gaile (born 1941). Following his marriage, Shannon was employed as a civil engineer in Mississippi, specializing in work on: 
"Dam, highway, bridge and railroad constuction in northeast Mississippi, together with wharf and levee construction on the Mississippi River."
   V.C. Shannon later relocated to Shreveport, Louisiana and in 1952 began a lengthy connection with the Caddo Levee District, work that later saw him rise through the ranks of the Shreveport offices of the Army Corp of Engineers. By 1969 he was the executive director of the Caddo Levee District, and is remarked as having directed and supervised the construction of the "complete bank protection system on Red River in the vicinity of Shreveport."
  Shannon entered city politics in 1966 when he was an unsuccessful candidate for Public Works Commissioner of Shreveport. In January 1969 he became one of six Democrats vying for a vacant seat on the Shreveport City Council, a vacancy that had been occasioned by the resignation of public works commissioner H. Lane Mitchell. Two years later Shannon was elected to the Louisiana House of Representatives from Caddo Parish, with his first term extending from 1972-76. This term also saw Shannon serve as a delegate to the 1973 Louisiana Constitutional Convention held in Baton Rouge. 
   In 1975 V.C. Shannon won a second term in the legislature and during the 1976-80 session sat as a member of the committee on Transportation, Highways and Public Works; House and Governmental Affairs, and Retirement. Shannon would resign in 1979 (being succeeded by Robert P. Waddell) and for the remaining years of his life resided in Shreveport. Widowed in 1974, Shannon died aged 79 on January 30, 1989, and was later interred at the Centuries Memorial Park in Shreveport.

From the Shreveport Times, January 31, 1989.

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