Shellie Daniel Shehan

Published 5:15 pm Tuesday, March 14, 2023

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Shellie Daniel Shehan, 80, passed away in his home on Jan. 9, 2023. Danny was born Oct. 6, 1942, to Comer and Helon (Everage) Shehan in Andalusia.

Shellie Daniel Shehan

A graveside service will be held Friday, March 17, 11 a.m., at Magnolia Cemetery in Andalusia. Foreman Brown Funeral Home is assisting the family with arrangements.

Dan was diagnosed with polio at the age of 10 when he awoke one morning with a stiff neck and terrible headache that soon grew into weakness, inability to breathe, and paralysis. His parents were told that there was nothing that could be done and they really could only keep him comfortable. His parents were not going to accept that and immediately took him to Pensacola where he was placed in an iron lung to aide his breathing. Dan was then flown to Birmingham on a Navy plane where his two uncles
accompanied him to take turns pumping his iron lung, as the plane did not have electrical power. Regardless of never being expected to walk again, Dan spent much of his early years in therapy and doctoring while still attending school and graduated from Brent Christian High School in Pensacola.
He attended Bob Jones University in Greenville, South Carolina, where he received his bachelor’s in Secondary Education. He taught second semester at DeFuniak Springs, Florida and was hired for the next year (1966) by Andalusia High School to teach English. While teaching, Dan went on to earn his master’s from the University of South Alabama. During his tenure at AHS, Dan went on to chaperone students on a six-week tour of England, Ireland, Scotland and France, wrote and composed plays and music with his close friend and colleague, Joseph C. Wingard, advised the English Club, and hosted many events at his home.
He retired from AHS in 1995 after 29 years of teaching. In 1976, Dan experienced another health setback that he again was not expected to recover from. This time, he would find himself sleeping in an iron lung permanently until the development of the more modern bi-pap machine that gave ability to travel again.

Dan’s musical ability started with a portable fold-up organ with homemade foot pedals and strings to the keys. His mother taught him how to play “Old Rugged Cross” and from there, he just took off learning all he could and becoming an outstanding pianist and organist. He shared his talents as the organist at First Baptist Church in Andalusia and Bull Street Baptist Church after moving to Savannah, Georgia. He and Joseph C. Wingard also hosted annual Christmas Sing-a-Long events and published a book of
their own original Christmas songs.

Dan was very active in the Historical Society of Andalusia in which he was instrumental in restoring the First National Bank Building and other downtown buildings.
After moving to Savannah, Dan became a member of the Coastal Empire Polio Survivors Association, and his iron lung was donated for education of future generations. He was also was very influential in bringing awareness regarding access problems to historic Savannah for those in wheelchairs or with mobility problems, thus leading the development of an accessibility map and street cut outs.
Dan was a survivor of epic proportions. He lived each day for his Lord and Savior and grateful for everything he had been blessed with. He was always positive and willing to help, as he was able.
Dan is predeceased by his father, Comer Shehan; mother, Helon Thomas; brother, J. Patton Shehan and numerous aunts, uncles and cousins and special pet, Emmi.

Dan is survived by his nieces, Donya (Mike) Shehan-King and Lara Erickson; sister-in-law, Linda Shehan; great and great-great nieces and nephews, and many cousins as well as his close friend and care-taker, Ron Shellenberger.

Until we meet again, live free with no restrictions and play that beautiful music.