Mr. Waller, 47, died Monday, July 1, 2019.
Shawn P. Waller, age 47, passed away unexpectedly on Monday, July 1, in Orlando, Florida. He was born in Apopka, Florida on Feb. 4, 1972.
He attended West Orange High School, completed basic training with the Florida Conservation Corps and, within three months, received his GED from Seminole Community College. Shawn then proudly enlisted in the U.S. Army in 1990, beginning an adventure that led to his becoming an Army Ranger, serving as an Airborne Infantry heavy weapons team leader.
He later served in a similar capacity with the Army National Guard from 1997 to 2004. Shawn worked on the Lake Apopka restoration project, earned a certificate in fire safety from the Florida State Fire College and was awarded a Florida Distinguished Service Award for his role in Operation Firestorm, 1998.
He was a big man with a gentle heart. His interest in nature and science from childhood led him to love animals and to study their habitats. As a fisherman, the pollution of Lake Apopka was close to Shawn's heart. The Florida Conservation Corp provided Shawn the opportunity to partner with the Lake Apopka Restoration Project, where he planted wetland plants behind protective barriers to provide habitat for fish and wildlife. He also worked on projects with St. Johns Water Management.
From his early years through his teens, he was an active member of 4-H, where he acquired public speaking and leadership skills and became a member of the 4-H Ambassadors and earned the privilege to attend the University of Florida 4-H Congress in Gainesville as a lobbyist.
Shawn loved art, Christian and classical music and playing guitar. He was an expert marksman and loved to hunt. He also studied German, Spanish and Hebrew and became an avid student of Comparative Religion.
He is survived by his mother, Brenda Louise Gwinn, and her husband, Jon; his brother, Chris Waller, wife, Tiffany and nephew, Blake; Christy Jackson Tacti (Sissy); his maternal grandmother, Diane Anderson; maternal aunt, Sandy Bekemeyer; first cousins, Breann Bekemeyer and Michael Shaw; first cousin Michele Sanchez, husband Nick and grand-cousins Tyler, Alexis and Gage; dad, Charlie Simmons, and wife, Suzy; and brothers Matthew and Greg.
There will be a military interment at Bushnell Veterans' Cemetery at 11 a.m. Friday, Aug. 16. In lieu of flowers, please make a donation to the Disabled American Veterans (DAV).
Services entrusted to Loomis Family Funeral Home, (407) 880-1007, loomisfuneralhomes.com.