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Patricia S. McNally

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Patricia S. McNally Obituary
Patricia Shannon McNally, 86, of Need- ham passed away on March 20, 2018. Daughter of the late George and Leonora Shannon of Newton, MA, wife of the late Edwin J McDonough, mother of Michael McNally (Ginny) of Newton, MA, Lee McNally (Connie Leacock) of Needham, MA, Katherine McNally (Debbie Ramsey) of Rockport, MA, grandmother of Matthew, Mary, Emily, and Rebecca McNally. Sister of the late George M. Shannon Jr, survived by sister-in-law Meg Shannon of Needham, MA, John and Marcia Shannon of Kinston, Ontario, Lee & Fred Williams of Craigville, MA, Jerry and Buffie Shannon of Edina, MN, Marty and Juana Shannon of Santa Fe, NM, and a dozen nieces and nephews. Born and raised in Newton, Patricia attended Sacred Heart High School, going on to graduate from Trinity College in Washington, DC, with a Bachelor of Arts in English. Patricia taught in the Weston Public Schools, where she worked from 1964 to 1987, teaching a whole generation of Weston children. A talented and highly-respected teacher of 4th grade, then 6th grade, Patricia taught children to think. She taught them to read. She taught them to reason. And she taught them to believe in themselves and their abilities. While working full-time and raising her children, Patricia continued her education, earning a Masters in Education, later a PhD in Education, both from Boston College. After retiring from the Weston Public Schools, Patricia went on to teach a generation of undergraduate and grad- uate educators at Emmanuel College, functioning as Acting Chair of the Education Department during her final two years. Patricia and her children attended the Paulist Center in Boston, where she met her great love, Edwin McDonough. While there, Patricia was instrumental in founding the first Divorced Catholics Group in the country. As documented in her PhD dissertation, this group and its founding sparked the creation of over 450 similar groups at parishes across the United States and Canada, and multiple national conferences to initiate dialogue addressing the issue of divorce within the Catholic Church. Patricia and Edwin were married at Our Lady Help of Christians in Newton. She soon joined the choir there and faithfully sang alto with them for the rest of her life. Patricia lived life with a vitality and fierceness that drew people to her. Her husband Edwin once said of her, Your mother has the greatest capacity for happiness of anyone I know, and that helped her navigate through a world both complex and challenging. She delighted in her grandchildren, always teaching and gently encouraging. Family was of the utmost importance to Patricia. She loved her family with a fierceness we all felt. Her commitment to family never wavered and was never doubted. She instilled that love of family, that value, in each of her children, who in turn instill that value in the grand children, one generation to another, as it is meant to be. And we all say, Thank God for Family! Funeral from the George F. Doherty & Sons Funeral Home 1305 Highland Ave. Needham on Monday, March 26th at 10:45am followed by a Funeral Mass at Our Lady Help of Christians Parish, 573 Washington St. Newton at 12 Noon. Relatives and friends kindly invited. Visiting hours on Sunday, March 25th from 1-4pm. Interment St. Marys Cemetery, Needham. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Patricias name to her beloved alma mater, Trinity University in Washington, DC @ www.trinitydc.edu, or by mail to Trinity Development & Alumnae/i Relations Office, 125 Michigan Ave, NE, Washington, DC 20017-1094. For online guestbook gfdoherty.com.
Published in The Newton Tab from Mar. 24 to Apr. 4, 2018
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