Birth: June 29, 1914
Profession: August 5, 1942
Death: February 19, 2006
Sister Margaret Mary Shannon, longtime teacher of home economics and art at Duchesne Academy and College in Omaha, Nebraska, died Sunday, February 19, at Oakwood Convent of the Sacred Heart, a retirement center for members of her religious order in Atherton, California. She was 91.
Sister Shannon, a native of St. Joseph, Missouri, earned a bachelor’s degree at Duchesne College in 1939 and professed her vows in the Society of the Sacred Heart in 1942. She earned a master’s degree in home economics at the University of Nebraska in 1956 and a doctoral degree in adult education and English at the university in 1974.
Following five years of teaching at a Sacred Heart school the Chicago area, Sister Shannon returned to Omaha in 1941 to teach at her alma mater. Duchesne Academy and College, like the school in Lake Forest, had been founded by her religious order. (The Omaha college closed in 1968.)
Sister Shannon taught English, math, art and sewing at Duchesne from 1941 to 1957. She returned in1959, following a second brief teaching assignment in Chicago, and remained at Duchesne until 1970.
Although she sometimes taught high school classes in the academy at Duchesne, she is remembered primarily as a college teacher who was “warm and witty, very bright and artistically talented,” according to Mary Jo Martin of Omaha, a former colleague of Sister Shannon’s at Duchesne.
Sister Shannon designed and stenciled Sacred Heart symbols on the walls behind the altars in the school’s chapel and a religious statue in the hall.
Sister Shannon left Duchesne in 1970, two years after the college division closed, to study for her Ph.D. From 1974 to 1981, she served as coordinator of an adult education center at a church in New Orleans and worked at the Art Institute of Chicago in a special gallery for the visually impaired.
In 1982, she moved to Washington, D.C., where, for six years, she worked as a volunteer docent and did research at Smithsonian Institution museums. She moved to the retirement center in Atherton in 1991.
Sister Shannon is survived by a brother, Marion Shannon, and his wife, Mabel, of Sacramento, California.
A funeral Mass will be celebrated for Sister Shannon at Oakwood at 8:30a.m. Thursday, February 23, followed by burial in the convent cemetery.
Memorial contributions may be made to the Society of the Sacred Heart Retirement Fund, 4100 Forest Park Avenue, Suite A, St. Louis, MO 63108.