Saturday, May 8, 2010

Mark Shannon Dead Of Leukemia

KTOK radio talk show host Mark Shannon died this morning of leukemia at age 58.

Services will be held Thursday at 2 p.m. at Faith Bible Church in Edmond, Danforth and Coltrane.

Shannon, whose legal name was Mark Fullerton, had been ill for months and unable to work for the past several weeks.

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A former FM disc jockey, the controversial Shannon became the station's afternoon drive show host two years after Mike McCarville's retirement in 1995. Shannon spent 36 years in various on-air jobs.

Shannon was known for his caustic observations and ridicule of his verbal targets. He delighted in the heated opinions he created. He invigorated many and infuriated a few. The Oklahoman, which allows reader comments by default on its website, closed comments on Shannon's death, ostensibly because of some crude remarks.

Shannon was born in Lincoln, Nebraska where he lived until graduating high school in 1969. After high school, he joined the U.S. Navy where he was an air traffic controller, training and working at bases in the Philippines, Brunswick, Georgia, and Virginia Beach.

In June 1973, after being discharged from the Navy, and while waiting to transfer to civilian air traffic control, Shannon attended broadcasting school in Minneapolis where he graduated "with honors." He began his first radio job in April 1974 at KUBC 580am, in Montrose, Colorado. Shannon used the air name Mark Stone while there. He left the station after six months and began at KWSL in Sioux City, Iowa, using the name Jackson Todd (later Mark Jackson Todd). During his career, he also worked for stations in Amarillo, Texas, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, and Oklahoma City and was known within the industry for his run-ins with management.

After being laid off in 2000, Shannon took time off from radio, doing some substitute teaching, and worked at a local golf course. He returned to Oklahoma City after a stint on AM news/talk station WLAC in Nashville.

In October 2000, Shannon was diagnosed with chronic lymphocytic leukemia, a slowly progressing cancer of the blood.

His wife Kris said he was released from Baptist Integris Hospital Friday afternoon and died peacefully at home early Saturday morning.

She said, "I would like to thank all his fans, friends, family and co-workers for all the prayers, love and support that they've given him throughout the years and especially during this last week. Mark believed in Jesus
Christ and he is now at home with his Father in Heaven."

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