Decorated Navy SEAL, Vietnam Veteran Carried to Final Resting Place

 Published June 28, 2013 by Imperial Beach Patch.

Preceded by the Patriot Guard Riders, a funeral procession made its way through Imperial Beach and Coronado Friday on its way to lay to rest Gary Shadduck, Sr., a Navy SEAL who was based in Coronado until he retired in 1979.

“My sister thought all daddies jumped out of airplanes,” said Gary Shadduck Jr. of Imperial Beach.

Shadduck Sr. was a Navy SEAL, served six tours of duty in Vietnam and was a member of the Navy Parachute Team the Leap Frogs, his son said. He was also said to have played a role in the CIA’s Phoenix Program.

Part of Shadduck Sr.’s military career are detailed in the books SEAL! and SOG Team History and Insignia of a Clandestine Army. He lived in Imperial Beach for two decades while he was a member of the Navy stationed at Naval Base Coronado.

“We all grew up thinking he was Superman. I always thought he was. Our running joke was we thought he was Batman, Superman, Spiderman and he had a secret closet where the outfits were hidden,” he said.

The procession started at 10:45 a.m. at West Coast Cafe at 208 Palm Ave., continued up State Route 75, across the San Diego­Coronado Bay Bridge on the way to Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery where Shadduck Sr. will be entombed.

Shadduck Sr. fought in the Vietnam War, and for his courage in combat received multiple awards including four Bronze stars and a Silver Star, Shadduck Jr. said.

“He was very loving father, very dedicated to serving his country,” said his daughter Jeannene Smith of La Mesa. “He was highly decorated, very quiet about his successes, very humble, but was very much a war hero.”

Shadduck Sr. passed away Aug. 3, 2012 in Virginia Beach, VA. He was 72.

He is survived by his daughter, Jeannene Smith of La Mesa, CA; his three sons, Gary Shadduck Jr. of Imperial Beach, CA, Jeffrey Shadduck of Virginia Beach, VA, and Jamie J. Shadduck of Lacey, WA; two sisters, Beverly (Crawford) and Dudley Broussarad of Sulphur, LA, and Lynda and James Munger of Jefferson, OH; and five grandchildren.

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