Jeremiah McShane, a distinguished educator at the Program in Human Sexuality, recently died at the age of 63 of an infection. McShane was a Minnesota State Wrestling Champ for De LaSalle High School. He also lettered in wrestling at the University of Minnesota. On September 9, 1971, McShane broke his neck skydiving. After the accident, Jeremiah continued to inspire so many people. He campaigned for accessibility for the disabled and served as part of the faculty in the Sexuality and Disability Sexual Attitude Reassessment (SAR) seminars at PHS. He served as a small group leader facilitating discussions regarding the issues of sexuality among disabled individuals. He often served as a panelist during SAR seminars sharing his own person story as a means of educating and inspiring many people to optimize their sexual health no matter what the barrier.
McShane is survived by his long-time partner Jeannie O'Connor; mother, Helen; brothers Jimmy, Tom and Daniel; and a sister, Shannon Burns.
A celebration of McShane's life will be held on Dec. 21, 2012 (a day very important to Jeremiah) at Silverwood Park, the Great Hall at the Park Visitors Center, 2500 County Road East, St. Anthony, from 5 pm to 10 pm. Memorials to donor's choice.
Read more about McShane in a tribute in the Star Tribune
EXCERPT: Obituary: Skydiving accident remade Jeremiah McShane's life
Written by Paul Walsh, Star Tribune, and reprinted with permission from the author
Jeremiah McShane can thank his elite wrestling career for giving him an extra 40 years of life.
McShane was a state high school champion wrestler whose skydiving accident a few years later left him a quadriplegic. From there, he turned tragedy into opportunity, campaigning for accessibility for the disabled in every way possible. McShane died Nov. 13 from an infection. The Minneapolis resident was 63.
Friends and family will remember McShane during a gathering next week, when a movie he appears in about disability access will be shown.
McShane was a state private-school champion wrestler while competing at 160 pounds for DeLaSalle in Minneapolis. He went on to letter in the sport at the University of Minnesota, and "he also loved skydiving," said Jeannie O'Connor, his longtime partner.
On a September day in 1971, the U senior and others were at Howard Lake, west of the Twin Cities, skydiving from a small plane. McShane jumped from a few thousand feet. His main chute failed. He activated his reserve chute, but it tangled with the first one, slowing his descent to a little more than 100 miles per hour.
Yet he survived.
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