Fred C. Shanaman, Jr.

Fred Shanaman was born in Tacoma on June 21, 1933 and passed away on October 4, 2005 at the age of 72. He graduated from Vermont Academy and Dartmouth College and continued his education with graduate work in business at the University of British Columbia.

He was a well-known local business and civic leader. He was president of Pyrodyne Corporation and Toys Galore and he also authored several books on business entrepreneurship.

Fred received a Presidential appointment to the Commerce Department and worked as a Regional Northwest Representative for the Secretary of Commerce from 1975-77. He served on the Board of Directors for Puget Sound Bank and the Bank of Bellingham. Fred was most proud of his work with Key Bank on the Community Reinvestment Act National Board, which allwed him to be involved with many local and national community projects.

Fred truly believed in and loved Tacoma. He worked constantly to promote Tacoma and thoroughly enjoyed his work as President of the Visitor and Convention Bureau, his involvement with the Christmas Parade committee, and as a Board member of Bellarmine, Annie Wright School, Tacoma Symphony, Mary Bridge Children’s Hospital, United Way of Pierce County and Northwest Trek.

Fred was passionate about sports and, at age 57, he rediscovered his love of track and field, winning numerous championships and establishing records as a Senior Masters athlete in the shot put and hammer.

A member of the Dartmouth College Athletic Hall of Fame, Fred was very supportive of sports in the community, following in the footsteps of his parents. He was Chairman of the 1988-89 Host Committee for the NCAA Women’s Basketball “Final Four” held in Tacoma; Co-commissioner for Ice Hockey in the 1990 Seattle/Tacoma Goodwill Games; he organized the Tacoma-Pierce County Sports Commission; he was a major principal in the Tacoma Rockets hockey team; and his generous donation topped off the capital campaign that led to the creation of the Shanaman Sports Museum of Tacoma-Pierce County in 1994 located at the Tacoma Dome.

Fred’s family consists of wife Jane Shanaman, son Rick Shanaman, daughter Mara Burke, and grandchildren Taylor and Devin Shanaman and Zoe Burke.

Fred C. Shanaman, Sr. was a respected businessman, civic leader and sports enthusiast. A longtime member of the Tacoma Atheletic Commission, Mr. Shanaman was dedicated to ensuring that the fine tradition of Tacoma-Pierce County athletics be carried out during his lifetime as well as for those who followed. He chaired the inaugural Tacoma-Pierce County Hall of Fame banquet on February 27, 1957. Dan Walton, Sports Editor of The Tacoma News Tribune (now The Morning News Tribune) wrote:

“The greatest contstellation of Pierce County sports stars ever under one roof will be on hand for the first annual Tacoma-Pierce County Hall of Fame banquet at the Tacoma Athletic Commission Thursday evening.

“The finalists as selected by the screening committee….are Herm Brix, Gretchen Kunigk Fraser, Chuck Hunter, Jr., Bob Johnson, Bill McGovern, Joe Salatino, Wallace Scott, Freddie Steele, Paul Strand, Marv Tommervick and Frank Wilson.

“From the finalists, Chairman Fred Shanaman and the other members of the Board of Judges are to select three whose names will be announced at the gala affair.”

Mr. Shanaman’s dedication to his community and the sports that he loved lives on as evidence through the Tacoma-Pierce County Sports Museum.

Marjorie Jeffries Shanaman set the tone for women’s golf in the Pacific Northwest for many years. At the age of 18, she sported an amazing two handicap. An avid golfer and all around sports enthusiast, Mrs. Shanaman captured many amateur championships during her lifetime of golf.

One notable event was the Washington State Women’s Championship played over five days culminating on August 24, 1928 at the Bellingham Golf and Country Club. An article appearing in The Tacoma News Tribune (no The Morning News Tribune) best describes Mrs. Shanaman’s remarkable accomplishment on this particular day:

“The big thrill of the 5-day meet…was furnished by Miss Marjorie Jeffries, a winsome young lass from the Tacoma Country and Golf Club, when she came from behind, after being four-down teeing-off to the ninth hole, and defeated Mrs. Guy Riegel, medalist, of the Spokane Country Club, one-up, with a display of unbeatable golf.”

Mrs. Shanaman won several local championships and was recognized as one of the top women amateurs in the United States for many years. A photograph is displayed at the Tacoma Country and Golf Club with the inscription: “Marjorie Jeffries Shanaman – one of Tacoma Country & Golf Club’s great champions.”