Daniel A. Shiells

Date of Birth

July 15, 1925

Date of Death

August 29, 2009

City of Death

Santa Barbara

Daniel A. Shiells, 84, passed on August 29th at Cottage Hospital from respiratory arrest, following a general decline in health over the past few years. Dan, a resident of Santa Barbara since 1984, was born July 15th, 1925 in Grand Junction, Colorado, and spent most of his childhood in the Los Angeles area. He attended UC Berkeley as part of a World War II program to train officers and engineers and served briefly with the Navy at the end of the war. He then began a successful career as a mechanical engineer that included a 34 year relationship with San Francisco based Bechtel. He was a key member of the team that developed the Big Rock facility in Michigan, one of the nation’s first nuclear reactor plants.

He later served in various capacities, including project engineer, on plants in England, Spain and the United States that utilized power drawn from fossil fuels, nuclear and geothermal sources. At one point, he was part of a mentor program to aid the development of Mexico’s power production. He also worked briefly for Lockheed, where he supervised production of a vacuum chamber used to test the rockets that sent man into space. In short, Dan was a part of a vast army of bright and innovative Americans who advanced mankind’s ability to harness the power of the universe and expand our knowledge of its frontiers. In retirement, he often appeared in court as an expert witness. On a personal level, he was a kind and thoughtful man who looked at the world and saw it not simply for what it was, but for what it could, and should be.

He loved his family and always treated others with the greatest respect. Dan is survived by Marilou, his wife of 38 years, his brother, Leon and his wife, Adele, sons Daniel A. Shiells II and Ted and their wives, Jan and Eva, daughter Susan Shiells and her husband, Ron Petroff, stepson David Perrone and his wife, Jocelyn, and five grandchildren: Brett, Taylor, Samantha, Lindsay, and Haley.

Services are Saturday, September 26th at 2:00pm at Vista del Monte. In lieu of flowers, donations may be sent to Vista del Monte’s residents’ assistance fund.


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