Walter T. Shanley, MD, 85

Fri, 06/05/2020 - 3:00pm
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Dr. Walter T. Shanley, 85, died peacefully at his home Friday, May 8, in Stratford, Conn.

Dr. Shanley was born on March 29, 1935 in Bridgeport Hospital. The son of Walter Ambrose Shanley and Agnes Keenan Shanley, he attended Fairfield Preparatory High School and graduated in 1952. He later attended Fairfield University and graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in 1957. Subsequently, Walter attended New York Medical College in New York City where he received his MD degree. He completed an internship and general surgery residency at St. Vincent’s Medical Center in Bridgeport, Conn. He would later complete another residency in orthopedic surgery at the Lahey Clinic, then located in Boston. He furthered his training at the Shriner’s Hospital in Springfield, Mass., where he completed another year of training in pediatric orthopedics.

Walter served in the United States Army Reserves and he obtained the rank of Captain during the Viet Nam War.

He returned to Bridgeport and worked at St. Vincent’s Medical Center as an orthopedic surgeon until his retirement in 2001. While at St. Vincent’s, he was appointed chief of orthopedics. He was known to his colleagues, residents, nurses, and especially his patients as a very competent, compassionate, and caring physician who possessed an infinite amount of kindness towards people and animals.

Among his hobbies, he had a passion for skiing, and enjoyed good food and great wines. He thoroughly enjoyed his many trips to Vermont. He enjoyed playing golf and engaging in good political discussions over a glass of wine with a friend, while often grilling food or sitting by a warm fireplace. He was a master at gardening with a huge respect for our planet.

Walter is survived by his wife of 24 years, Ana R. Shanley; his children Elizabeth, Walter (Ingrid), Patrick, Christopher; and his grandson Myles.

He is also survived by his sister AnnMarie and Richard Wright; and his three nieces, Shannon, Maura and Meghan. Survivors also include his stepson, James Michael Shannon III (Tania), and his step-grandson James Michael Shannon IV.

Due to the pandemic, a funeral celebration of Walter’s life will take place at a later date. Consistent with Walter’s wishes, it will be on Block Island. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in his memory to the ASPCA or to the Wounded Warriors Project.