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Originally published: 2014-05-19 14:13:14
Last modified: 2014-05-19 14:13:58

Our View: Mountain home

Two things served Joe Shannon especially well during his 64 years, and those two things, in turn, served Boone and the High Country until his death on May 13.

Shannon was not a Boone native. He moved here in 1977, but he brought with him skills, experience and passion that had touched natives and newcomers alike for more than three decades.

A musician at heart, he grew up in North Florida singing church hymns and teaching himself to play folk guitar, Shannon would combine that love of music with training in social work to begin one of the High Country's most endearing and most enduring musical traditions. He founded Mountain Home Music in 1994 to give talented, but often unknown, musicians the audience they deserved.

As the concert series blossomed, so did Shannon's gifts to our region. Teacher, student, friend and mentor became words closely associated with Shannon by those who knew him, and those who knew him numbered in the thousands.

In March, Shannon received the North Carolina Order of the Long Leaf Pine for his service, not only to the High Country, but to the state. In Boone, he was honored by the town council in the form of a resolution.

Today, we say goodbye to a man who never said goodbye to the home he adopted until the final days before his death when he responded to the call of family. Boone, the High Country and North Carolina are lesser for our loss.