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The Passing of Shannon Self

Shannon Self isn’t a name recognized as quickly as Larry Nichols, Tom Ward or Aubrey McClendon. Even among major real estate players, Self was mostly known in the industry, but rarely among average residents.

But Self, who died last week, was a big player who for the most part avoided publicity. And his passing leaves some wondering what is next for his vast holdings, including some of the most prominent commercial properties along the Western Avenue entertainment corridor.

Self was also a close friend of oilman Aubrey McClendon and a big player for a long time at Chesapeake Energy, as described in this 2012 Reuters story:

McClendon competed against a boy named Shannon Self, and one day noticed that Self’s younger brother was cutting some of Self’s lawns. McClendon discovered that his competitor had sub-contracted the work to his brother. Self was mowing more lawns and making more money than McClendon with less effort.

“He calls it his ‘painting the fence’ story, the scene where Tom Sawyer gets his friends to whitewash the fence,” said a friend.

The episode served as an early example of McClendon’s penchant for collecting smart and loyal friends and keeping them close. Self became a founding Chesapeake board member and remains a McClendon legal adviser….

Self also helped McClendon start up his latest ventures, as Brianna Bailey and I reported in March, 2013. I only met Mr. Self once, back in 2012 when he was one of several Heritage Hills residents expressing concerns about development of The Edge apartments in Midtown.

He was friendly, but definitely not out seeking publicity for himself. Self was, without a doubt, a quiet force who has made significant contributions to building the city.

I’ll let his obituary tell the rest of the story:

SELF-Shannon T., beloved husband, loving father, and dedicated businessman, passed away quietly surrounded by friends and family on the evening of Friday, July 11, 2014. Shannon was born on October 17, 1956, in Thomas, Oklahoma to Walterene and Ralph Self. He was preceded in death by both of his parents; a niece, Reagan Self; and a cousin, Brooke Self. Shannon is survived by his wife of 30 years, Tiffany Self; his three children, Taylor, Bailey, and Ian Self; his three younger siblings, Drew, Tarena, and Sid Self; and many nieces and nephews. Shannon is best described in terms of his numerous and incredible qualities. His intelligence, compassion, generosity, and faith affected all he came into contact with and the lasting impression that he leaves will never be forgotten.
Shannon was a man of great faith. He was a dedicated student of the Bible for many years as a member of Bible Study Fellowship as well as a longtime member of First Baptist Church of Moore and more recently Crossings Community Church. As a businessman, Shannon’s many talents led him to assist his friends Aubrey McClendon and Tom Ward in taking Chesapeake Energy Corporation public, where he served as primary attorney and an original member of the Board of Directors.
Shannon received his Bachelors Degree in Accounting from the University of Oklahoma in 1979 and his Juris Doctor from Northwestern University in Chicago in 1984. After graduating and finding success in his career, Shannon went on to sit on the boards of Westminster School in Oklahoma City, Heritage Hall in Oklahoma City, and the Board of Visitors at Northwestern University School of Law. While on these boards, Shannon generously contributed his time and counsel to these institutions which shaped both him and his family’s educational experiences.

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Steve Lackmeyer

Steve Lackmeyer is a reporter, columnist and author who started his career at The Oklahoman in 1990. Since then, he has won numerous awards for his coverage, which included the 1995 bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building, the city's... Read more ›