Cover photo for Dr. Richard J. Shanahan's Obituary
Dr. Richard J. Shanahan Profile Photo

Dr. Richard J. Shanahan

December 30, 1932 — July 9, 2023


Dr. Richard J. Shanahan


NAUGATUCK – Dr. Richard (Dick) J. Shanahan passed away on July 9, 2023, at Waterbury Hospital with his loving family by his side.

Dick was born in Waterbury, CT on December 30, 1932, to the late Dr. Daniel and Cecilia (Freeman) Shanahan.  He attended Salem Elementary School and Sacred Heart High School, where he was captain of the swim team, which won multiple state championships, under Coach Jim Farrar.

He earned his D.D.S. from Georgetown University in 1956 and married his high school sweetheart, Margaret (Hurley), in 1957. and served as a Captain for 2 years in the United States Air Force Dental Corps as Dental Director of the 85th Air Division in Virginia and North Carolina. In 1960, he earned a Certificate in Orthodontics from Loyola Dental School, Chicago

In 1960, Dick opened his practice in Waterbury, CT. where he humbly served for 54 years. He was beloved by his patients.

He was a member of the Dental Society of Greater Waterbury, where he received The Daniel F. Lynch and The A. Howard McLaughlin awards, in honor of his outstanding contributions to the profession of dentistry.

Dick was a past president of Brass City Toastmasters and Exchange Club. He was the Dental Director of the Stay Well Health Center in Waterbury (1975-1990). He was a member of the Pierre Fauchard Academy, the Horace Wells Club of Hartford, the International College of Dentistry, and was a founding member of The New-Conn Study Group.

Dick enjoyed cooking, bread making, gardening, travel, tai-chi, and learning German and Spanish. He was truly a life-long learner. His sense of humor will be greatly missed by all who knew and loved him.

Above all, one of Dick’s greatest joys was to spend time with his family. Besides his wife Margaret of 65 years, Dr. Shanahan is survived by his children Kathleen Duston (Donald), Ann Marie Shanahan (James Otis), Lauretta Swiderski (Brian), Elaine Lickteig (John), Stephen Shanahan (Dr. Elizabeth Rohan).  He was proud of his 11 grandchildren Greg (Jasmine), Tim (Jessie); Stephen, Claire; Shannon, Kelly; Hannah, John, Cecelia; Raffaella, Joel and his 2 great-grandchildren Aidan and Ruby Duston. In addition to his parents, he was predeceased by his brother Dr. Daniel F. Shanahan.

A special thank you to his care givers Anne Marie Walker, Joanne Mason, and the staff at Middlebury Convalescent Home.

Arrangements – Visitation will be held on Thursday, July 13, 2023, from 4 to 7 p.m. at the Alderson-Ford Funeral Home of Naugatuck, 201 Meadow St.  A Mass of Christian Burial will be held on Friday, July 14, 2023, at 10 a.m. at St. Francis of Assisi, Naugatuck.  Friends are asked to meet directly at the church.  Burial will follow in St. James Cemetery.  Memorial contributions may be made to the Ecumenical Food Bank, Inc.; P.O. Box 796, Naugatuck, CT 06770-0672 or to St. Jude Children’s Hospital.
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Past Services


Thursday, July 13, 2023

4:00 - 7:00 pm (Eastern time)

Alderson-Ford Funeral Home - Naugatuck

201 Meadow Street (Rt. 63), Naugatuck, CT 06770

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Friday, July 14, 2023

10:00 - 11:00 am (Eastern time)

St. Francis of Assisi Church

318 Church St., Naugatuck, CT 06770

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Friday, July 14, 2023

11:30am - 12:00 pm (Eastern time)

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