Daniel E. Shea, Professor of AnthropologyPosted by admin on 7/12/12 • Categorized as Summer 2012
Longtime professor of anthropology Dan Shea died on June 19, 2012, in Chile, where he and two colleagues had been conducting field research with a group of five Beloit College students. He was 70.
An archaeologist and mentor to students since he joined the college in 1968, Shea passed away in a part of the world that was central to his life’s work. His primary interest was in Latin American archaeology, and while fieldwork had taken him to Arizona, New Mexico, Costa Rica, and the highlands of Peru, he and his students had been engaged in ongoing archaeological work at a field school in Northern Chile for the past 20 years.
“I admit to finding some comfort in the knowledge that when he passed, Dan was in a place that he loves, doing what he does best—introducing students to the archaeological wonders of Latin America,” College President Scott Bierman wrote in a campus announcement.
Bill Green, who directs the Logan Museum of Anthropology, says that Shea had extensive knowledge and firsthand experience to share with colleagues and students. “Dan was admired and respected among archaeologists in Wisconsin and in South America,” Green says. “He got students excited about anthropology through fieldwork and engagement with museum objects, as well as through a rich array of anecdotes and an encyclopedic knowledge base.”
Born in Oshkosh, Shea lived in Wisconsin his entire life. He earned his undergraduate, master’s, and doctoral degrees from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Survivors include his wife, Jennifer Fox Shea’80, and a son, James Shea’10.
A campus memorial service is planned to take place the first week of classes this fall, and a scholarship fund is being established in Shea’s name. Memories and tributes may be shared at www.beloit.edu/news/sheamemorial.