Jesuit Father Thomas “Tom” S. McShane died on Oct. 16, 2018, at the St. Camillus senior Jesuit healthcare community, in Wauwatosa, Wisconsin. He was 89 years old, a Jesuit for 71 years, and a priest for 58 years.
Born in Omaha on July 22, 1929, Fr. McShane attended St. Margaret Mary Grade School and Creighton Preparatory School in Omaha before entering the Society on Aug. 8, 1947. He had the usual Jesuit course of studies at St. Stanislaus Seminary, Spring Hill College, and St. Mary’s College. He was ordained on June 15, 1960, made tertianship in Decatur, Illinois, and pronounced his final vows on Aug. 15, 1963. He studied physics at St. Louis University before ordination and at the Illinois Institute of Technology after ordination.
Fr. McShane did regency at St. Francis Mission on the Rosebud Indian Reservation in South Dakota. After graduate studies in 1963, he began teaching physics at Creighton University and continued teaching physics there for the next forty years, until the ripe old age of 84. Failing health led to his moving to St. Camillus in 2013.
Throughout his years of teaching at Creighton University, Fr. McShane spent many semesters as a guest investigator in physics. Some years he worked at the Brookhaven National Laboratory on Long Island, New York. Other years he worked at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory near Berkeley, California. In 2014, the machine shop at Creighton University’s Department of Physics was named the “Fr. Thomas S. McShane, S.J. Physics Machine Shop.” Fr. McShane, already at St. Camillus, joined the festivities and addressed the assembled crowd via Skype.