Obituary for Eileen Shanley
Eileen Kenny Shanley, 76, died on Friday, September 8, 2017 surrounded by her loving family.
Eileen was a loving and devoted wife, a wonderful and caring Mother, a doting and attentive Grandmother, a fabulous friend, Catholic role-model, and a happy, beautiful and strong woman. Eileen was born and raised in Brooklyn, New York where she was a member of Good Shepherd Parish. She graduated from Notre Dame College on Staten Island and a week later she married then Lieutenant John Joseph Shanley, Jr. (“Jack”), also from Brooklyn, on June 16, 1962. Jack was the love of her life and she cherished their 55 years of marriage together. The young Brooklyn bride exemplified the saying, “Navy wife - the toughest job in the Navy” by creating welcoming homes in the various “homeports” of Jack’s military career: Virginia, New York, Puerto Rico, Mississippi, and California. In 1981, Eileen and Jack settled in Annapolis, where she continued to raise her seven children. She was an active member of St. Mary’s Parish in Annapolis. Over the years, she volunteered for many church outreach programs including teaching Confirmation, praying at the Perpetual Adoration chapel, and supporting Maryland Right to Life at Birthright in Annapolis.
For 15 years, she taught at Saint Mary’s Elementary School until her retirement in June, 2006. Eileen loved to teach sixth grade Language Arts and was recognized in 2004 as the first recipient of the School Sisters of Notre Dame “Charism Award” for Outstanding Service within the School Community of Saint Mary’s. She had a special way of treating middle school students that resulted in her ability to reach many of them on a very personal level, allowing them to excel in her classroom. Eileen was known for her adept ability to teach religious values and doctrine to her sixth grade language arts students on a daily basis.
Eileen valued education and instilled in her seven children that same trait. Her five sons each followed their father and graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy, and her two daughters graduated from Georgetown University. Ten graduate degrees, between the seven children, is a testament directly attributed to her role as an educator and a fabulous role model. Eileen was always hospitable and loved to entertain. She welcomed in her home countless friends and military associates, and had a special place in her heart for the many USNA midshipmen classmates; many now considered family. “Mrs. Shanley” was known for her New York accent, her warm and welcoming personality, her devotion to the Blessed Mary and her immense love of her family and friends.
Eileen developed many dear and devoted friendships over her 76 years and she was very grateful for them. She particularly treasured her daily routine consisting of attendance at morning Catholic Mass, followed by breakfast at Chick and Ruth’s Deli with her close friends. She will always be remembered for her quick “New York wit” and her ability to always be candid about life and faith. Eileen was a very learned and faithful practicing Roman Catholic who had a gift for teaching the faith to her own children, and to her many students at St. Mary’s Elementary.
Eileen was born on December 5, 1940 as the fourth child of Eileen C. Kenny and John J. Kenny of Brooklyn, NY. Eileen was preceded in death by her parents and her brother Thomas C. Kenny and his wife, Martha. Eileen is survived in death by her brother John (Jay) Kenny and wife Judy, and her sister Maryann K. Kasprzak and husband Frank. Eileen is also survived by her husband Navy Captain John J. Shanley, Jr. CEC, USN (retired), their seven children, and thirty-six grandchildren. Her children are John J. Shanley III (Jay) and wife, Elaine; Kevin G. Shanley; Gerard K. Shanley and wife, Kris; Thomas P. Shanley and wife, Kate; Megan S. Philbeck; Eileen S. Berzins and husband, Tim; and LCDR Timothy F. Shanley, USN and wife, Emily. She is also survived by 36 grandchildren who she loved dearly and who each adored her and called her “Gaga”, they are: Kelly, Bridget and Megan Shanley (children of Jay and Elaine); Brendan, Jack, Andrew and Allison Shanley (children of Gerard and Kris); Michael and Annie Shanley (children of Tom and Kate); Thomas, Jack, Joseph, Eileen and Michael Philbeck (children of Megan); Moira, Tim, Jr. (Timber), Gerard, William, Sean, Gabriel, Kevin, Mary Eileen (M.E), Marie, Molly, Theresa, Megan, Francis, Brendan and Virginia Berzins (children of Eileen and Tim); and Tim, Jr., Louisa, John, Joseph (Pfeifer), Richard, Gerard and Catherine Shanley (children of Tim and Emily).
A wake will be held at the George P. Kalas Funeral Home, 2973 Solomons Island Road, Edgewater, MD, 21037, on Friday, September 15, 2017 from 3-5pm and 7-9pm. A funeral mass will be held at Saint John Neumann Mission Church, located at 620 North Bestgate Road, Annapolis, MD, 21401, on Saturday, September 16, 2017 at 9am followed by a Christian burial at Saint Mary’s Cemetery located on West Street in Annapolis, MD.
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