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Martha Jean Bucknell Shannon
1926 - 2012
Martha B. Shannon passed away at her home in Rancho Palos Verdes on July 30, 2012 after a long illness, surrounded by her children.
Martha (or "Marty," as she preferred to be called) Jean Bucknell was born April 2, 1926, and grew up in San Mateo, CA. She was the daughter of Martha and Harry Bucknell, and the devoted half-sister of Duane, Marion, and Claire Allen.
She graduated from San Mateo High, class of '44, and took great pride in attending many class reunions along with her pals, particularly her life-long friend Marcile Swartz. Marty went on to attend the University of Oregon, where she was active in the Delta Gamma sorority and participated in many sports, including swimming, field hockey, tennis and, later in life, golf. She transferred to UC Berkeley in her junior year to be closer to home after her father became ill.
Following college, she worked as a secretary at Best Foods in San Francisco, where she would fortuitously meet and fall in love with a traveling auditor from Pennsylvania named John Shannon. The two were wed on June 26, 1949 and enjoyed 61 years together, until John's death in 2010. They initially lived in San Francisco, and later moved to Palo Alto in 1952, where they resided for 20 years. Marty and John dearly wanted to have children and got their wish, raising five: Patrick (deceased), Thomas, Jean (David Bedford), Anne (Brian Sholes), and Robert (Christy).
Marty was a homemaker in the finest sense of the word. She knew how to stretch a dollar to feed her family nutritious home-cooked meals. She was an accomplished seamstress, could wield a paintbrush, clean the gutters, wallpaper a room, and re-upholster the furniture. She enjoyed playing a neighborly game of bridge, and was virtually unbeatable in family domino matches.
Marty enthusiastically rooted and clapped for her kids in all their activities, including sports, school concerts and plays. One of the greatest gifts she imparted to her children was a love for the redwoods, and every summer she took her family camping at Memorial Park, where she had camped as a little girl. There they enjoyed lazy days spent swimming, fishing, and picking huckleberries.
Marty seemed to have a song in her heart, and often delighted others by spontaneously singing songs she learned as a young girl dancing to Benny Goodman and Glenn Miller. Her great passion, though, was gardening. She had an encyclopedic knowledge about flowers, easily able to cite their names and how to care for them, and spent hours nurturing anything that tried to grow. She especially loved watching birds and squirrels come to bathe and drink from her birdbath.
Marty was a life-long volunteer. During WW II, she enjoyed volunteering with the U.S.O., socializing with the servicemen. Later, she worked on the "Save Our Coastline" campaign and lent her services to several charitable organizations, including the Children's Health Council, March of Dimes and Harbor Interfaith Council. She was delivering "Meals-On-Wheels" well into her 80's and took enormous pleasure in helping all she met.
In 1972, the family moved to Rancho Palos Verdes, CA, where John and Marty happily spent the rest of their lives. Their home was the gathering place for family and friends during the next 40 years. She and John took many trips over the years but were most happy returning to R.P.V. and their view overlooking the Pacific Ocean.
She is survived by her children, as well as her grandchildren - Caitlin, Miles, and Natalie - and great grandson, Odin.
A memorial service will take place beginning at 10:30 am on Saturday, September 29th at Portola Valley Church, in Portola Valley, California. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Leukemia Lymphoma Society, the
Published in Daily Breeze on Sept. 26, 2012
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"With thoughts of peace and courage for your family. Harbor Interfaith Services"
- Manuel Castillo
"Harbor Interfaith Services beloved volunteer "Marty" you will be missed. She was a ray of sunshine &..."
- Shari Weaver
"My deepest sympathy to all the family. I remember Marty in her later years as she & John always were..."
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