Cover photo for Catherine Haenn Shannon's Obituary
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Catherine Haenn Shannon

March 2, 1944 — September 14, 2023

Catherine Haenn Shannon died on Thursday, September 14, 2023, after a brief illness. Her family was gathered by her side and Cathy was surrounded by love during her passing. 

The seventh of eight children, Cathy was born on March 2nd, 1944, to Imogene and Joseph Haenn Sr. in Merion, Pennsylvania, and raised in the neighboring town of Haverford. Her early education was at Mater Misericordiae Academy (now known as Merion Mercy), where she was a member of the Class of ‘61. She graduated in 1965 with a major in education from St. Mary’s College in South Bend, IN. At both of these schools, Cathy made cherished friends who remained dear to her throughout her life. 

Cathy lived out her Catholic faith through her commitment to social justice and often chose teaching positions that served the most under-resourced communities. She began her elementary school teaching career at a public school in West Philadelphia. After that, Cathy volunteered for a year of service with VISTA and was assigned to a school in Guam at the height of the Vietnam War. Her time on this Pacific island during such a chaotic period was full of treasured moments with the community and valuable lessons that she carried with her always. 

Upon returning from Guam, Cathy enrolled in the Graduate School of Education at Boston University. At BU, she received her Master’s degree in Reading Instruction, but more importantly met Tom Shannon, the true love of her life, who was pursuing his own graduate degree at BU’s School of Theology–conveniently located next to the School of Education. Their first date was foiled by Cathy’s tripping over the Boston T tracks and winding up in the hospital with a broken ankle. Crutches in hand, the meet-up was soon rescheduled and they were inseparable partners from that point on. 

Upon their graduations, Cathy and Tom moved to Worcester, Massachusetts, where Cathy took a year off of work to volunteer in the community, but soon after began a teaching career with the Worcester Public Schools that went on to span 30+ years and touched the lives of thousands of students. Towards the end of her career, Cathy specialized as a reading instructor and was instrumental in bringing the gift of literacy to those who were very far below grade level. 

Tom and Cathy married in 1972 and shared 51 years of happiness. They raised their daughters, Ashley and Courtney, in Worcester, where Cathy built a network of close friends and neighbors. The tight-knit family especially looked forward to spending their summers together in the mountains of Eagles Mere, PA, a town where Cathy had begun making memories with the Haenn family in the summer of 1946. In 2008, Tom and Cathy retired to Eagles Mere to be surrounded full time by its natural beauty and incredible community. 

In later years, Cathy’s family grew to include two sons-in-law, Courtney’s husband Dino Pinto and Ashley’s husband Sean Tully, as well as three grandchildren, Isaiah and Daisy Pinto and Owen Tully. These children brought so much joy to Cathy’s life and one of their favorite traditions she created was to give them each the gift of a book on their pillow as a last gift on each holiday. 

Cathy’s interests spanned many areas, but she especially loved participating in book clubs and playing bridge. She always looked forward to nights spent with cards on the table while surrounded by good friends.

Cathy was predeceased by her sister Louise Craig, her brother Joseph Haenn Jr., and brothers-in-law Bill Gaul, Bob Rainey, and Bob Liegel.  In addition to her immediate family, she is survived by her brother Robert Haenn and his wife Betty Ann, sisters Jeannie Rainey, Joan Gaul, Betty Liegel and Barbara Haenn, sister-in-law Grace Haenn and brother-in-law Bill Craig, and three generations of numerous nieces and nephews who all remember her lovingly as “Aunt Cathy”--a title also given to her by many of Ashley and Courtney’s friends and their children as well. Cathy always held family and friends close to her heart and she went out of her way to lovingly celebrate each individual.

Funeral services will be at the Church of the Resurrection, 75 Musser Lane, Muncy, PA, 17756 on Saturday, September 23, 2023, at 11 AM.  The burial service will be private. 

Memorial contributions may be made to the General Scholarship Fund of St. Mary’s College in Notre Dame, IN, 46556, or to the Eagles Mere Conservancy, PO Box 64, Eagles Mere, PA, 17731.

Funeral arrangements are under the direction of the Homer Funeral Home, 206 Water St., Dushore, PA 18614         

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Service Schedule

Past Services

Mass of Christian Burial

Saturday, September 23, 2023

11:00am - 12:00 pm (Eastern time)

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Church of the Resurrection

75 Musser Lane
Muncy, PA 17756

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