Paul J. Shanley, 61, of Warwick, passed away on August 19, 2019 after a courageous eight-month battle against a rare form of bone cancer, surrounded by his family. Paul’s fight was waged under the extraordinary medical care of the sarcoma team at Mass General Hospital and the loving care of his brother Michael and brother-in-law William Monahan.
Paul spent most of his career in law enforcement. He retired as a Captain in the Warwick Police Department in 2007 after 26 years of service to the community. During his tenure, he was awarded the First Class Medal and Ribbon in 1988 for professionalism. He also completed many additional training opportunities and certifications, including a dignitary protection training session with the United States Secret Service. Paul then accepted the position of Deputy Chief of Police at Brown University’s Department of Public Safety, a job held until his death. Among his many responsibilities, he was the department’s public information officer, conducted internal investigations, headed emergency planning, and was critically important as an expert in dignitary protection.
Paul graduated from Roger Williams University, where he earned a B.S. in criminal justice in 1985 and a Master of Public Administration in 2015 as the university’s Outstanding Graduate Award in the MPA program.
Paul was an avid golfer and long-time member of Potowomut Golf Club. Paul loved the game in such a wonderfully pure way; those who walked the links with him could not help but be touched by this magic. Paul was a long-time practitioner of Jiu Jitsu who attained the rank of Godan (fifth-degree black belt) from the Kyudan Federation. He was an active member of St. Gregory the Great parish in Warwick, serving as a Eucharistic minister, president of the Parish Council, a member of the Knights of Columbus, and a baseball and softball coach.
Paul took delightful joy in the things he did and possessed the ability to find humor in any situation. The only thing he took seriously was his commitment to serve and protect his community, his family, and his faith.
Paul was married to his devoted wife and best friend, Patti, for 29 years. Together they were an inseparable team. Paul was the son of the late Joseph and Elaine (McNerney) Shanley. In addition to his wife, Paul leaves four children: his sons Rep. Evan Shanley, Christopher and Sean Lawrence, and his daughter, Meaghan Shanley. His son, Tyler Shanley, died in infancy. Also, near and dear to Paul’s heart were Evan’s wife, Meredith, and their son, Maxwell Tyler, who joyfully called Paul “Dah Pa.” Paul is survived by his fraternal twin brother, Rev. Brian J. Shanley, O.P. of Providence College, his brother Andrew and his wife Karen, his brother Michael and his partner, Lisa Tingue, and his favorite sister Kathryn and her husband Jimmy. He also leaves many nieces and nephews who knew him for his big heart.
Visiting hours will be held on Thursday, Aug. 22, from 3-7 p.m. in St. Gregory the Great Church, 360 Cowesett Road, Warwick. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at St. Gregory the Great Church on Friday, Aug. 23, at 10 am. Burial will follow at St. Ann Cemetery, Cranston.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Dr. Greg Cote’s Sarcoma Research Fund at Massachusetts General Hospital, Development Office Attn: Keith Erickson, 125 Nashua Street, Suite 540 Boston, MA 02114, or online at giving.massgeneral.org. Arrangements entrusted to Russell J. Boyle & Son Funeral Home, Warwick.