John Joseph Shanahan
1929 - 2020
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John Joseph Shanahan
Milltown family man and baker with signature Irish soda bread
John Joseph Shanahan of Milltown, NJ passed away Saturday, June 20, 2020, at home in the loving embrace of his family at the age of 90 years old.
Born in Cork, Ireland, a 4th generation baker, he came to the United States in 1957. John and his devoted wife, Kathleen "Kay", opened the S&S Bake shop in Milltown in 1969.
Most famous for his Irish soda bread, John's rye bread and kifli were also well known and well loved.
In the past, John served as a president of the Tara Club of Middlesex County. He loved spending time with his family, listening to music, especially Johnny Cash, and was well known for his mastery in gardening.
John was predeceased by his parents, John and Josephine Bridget (Hourigan) Shanahan, and his siblings, Sweedy, Freda, and Josephine.
Surviving are his beloved wife of 64 years, Kathleen A. (Deasy) Shanahan; his son and daughter-in-law, Colm and Dawn Shanahan of Hamilton Twp., N.J.; son and daughter-in-law, Tony and Gabrielle Shanahan of Highland Park, N.J.; son, Owen Shanahan of Milltown, son and daughter-in-law Keirin and Susan Shanahan of Davie, Fla., daughter, Siobhan Brady of Princeton, N.J., and five grandchildren; Mallory, Tadhg, John, Jane, and Ann.
A celebration of his life is planned for August near John's birthday. Arrangements are by The Crabiel Home for Funerals, 170 N Main St.-at Riva Avenue, Milltown. You may sign the online obituary "guestbook" at crabiel.com.

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Published in The Star-Ledger on Jun. 24, 2020.
MEMORIAL EVENTS
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MEMORIES & CONDOLENCES
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29 entries
June 29, 2020
Dear Tony, Gabrielle and the Shanahan Family:

May John's memory always bring a smile to the faces of those who knew and loved him. My sincerest condolences.
Andy Bernstein
Friend
June 28, 2020
To the Shanahan Family - So sorry to hear of your loss. We could always smell the powdered sugar and we entered the Bake Shop on Main St., the bell above the door making our entrance known. We enjoyed all his creativity, humanity and generosity. My older brother would always stop in after finishing his paper route and share his doughnut holes with us. We will cherish the memories and love he put into his baked goods. He will be missed.
Frank Torok
Neighbor
June 27, 2020
My condolences to the Shanahan Family, May his legacy live on in his children. I always loved to visit the bakery especially Irish soda bread time. Rest In Peace Mr Shanahan.
Carolyn Russo Azer
Neighbor
June 26, 2020
Our deepest sympathy to Kay and family. We will always remember the wonderful times we shared with John. Our thoughts and prayers are with you. All our love, Larry and Carmel Jerzewski
Larry Jerzewski
Friend
June 25, 2020
We have such fond memories of going to the bakery during the time we lived near Milltown - the warmth of the Shanahans and the best rye bread and, of course, soda bread too. Our condolences to the Shanahan family.
Roger and Patti Smith
Friend
June 25, 2020
My parents took me to S & S when I was a kid, and I've been going ever since. I will never forget Mr. Shanahan's brilliant artistry: the cakes he created for our daughters' birthdays were true replicas of Disney characters. My favorite was the Little Mermaid... and Pocahontas .. and all were truly breathtaking. He made our wedding cake, bridges and all! But my favorite memory is when I was pregnant and craving icing, he gave me a pound of icing in separate wedges with paper between each. He told me to freeze it and not eat is all at once, lol! I loved his petunia garden. He had a great smile and laugh. What a great guy. He will be missed. My deepest condolences to the family.
Kathleen Ambrosy
Acquaintance
June 25, 2020
A great guy, always with a smile on his face! I loved visiting the bakery, sometimes just to visit with him and Kay! He will be missed by many.
Bert Nussbaum
Family Friend
June 25, 2020
Mr. Shanahan was my first boss, as well as my favorite boss. He always shared fantastic stories with me about Ireland. My thoughts and prayers are with the entire Shanahan family.
Melissa Marciano
Coworker
June 25, 2020
With deepest sympathy to Kay and her family. John was a true Corkonian and many a evening was spent reliving the old days and the wonderful life we had growing up in Cork. He was a generous soul and a wonderful storyteller. He loved Kay and his family more than anything and spent his life caring for them. We will miss you John but you are forever in our hearts and memories. You are all in our thoughts and prayers. Pat and Rose (née Bracken) Kelly and family. Cork, Ireland, and South Amboy, NJ
Pat and Rose Kelly
Family Friend
June 24, 2020
We want to send our deepest sympathy to Kay n her family.
Ron & Lily Kircher
Family Friend
June 24, 2020
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Robert Millosh
June 24, 2020
So many great memories. He was a great man and will be missed.
Robert Millosh
Acquaintance
June 24, 2020
John was an incredibly kind and generous man who always brought joy, laughs, and stories when he visited us in Ballinlough. My condolences to all his extended family. He will be dearly missed.
Ayman Hafez
Family
June 24, 2020
Saddened by the news.RIP John.
Phyllis Powell l
Friend
June 24, 2020
May my good friend, John, rest in the peace of the Lord. Condolences to the Kate and the family.
Alfredo de Bonis
Friend
June 24, 2020
Sincere condolences to you, Kay, and all the family. May John Rest In Peace.
Ann Ryan
June 24, 2020
My prayers and blessing to all the Shanahan Family, Many years of doing our businesses in Town with fond memories. John Cal Sr.
john Cal
Friend
June 24, 2020
Rest in Peace John. Mike Cashman, a fellow Cork man.
Michael Cashman
June 23, 2020
Colm, your father was a wonderful person. He is going to be dearly missed by everyone.
Angelo G. Agnone
Acquaintance
June 23, 2020
Deepest sympathy to the Shanahan family in the loss of your John. My (late) English-born parents,Laurence and Jean Dransfield, enjoyed times spent together years ago with Kay and John. John also stepped in as my dance partner at a local political function and it was the highlight of my night (1987). He will be remembered for his kind heart, and his devotion to family and community.
Leslie (Dransfield) Walsh
Friend
June 23, 2020
the best part of going to church was going to the bakery!! such a special family, childhood memories, that i will never lose...my heart is broken
joan zukowski
Friend
June 23, 2020
Sorry for your loss!!!...The nicest family in town with the best bakery ever!!!
Andy Schmidt
Acquaintance
June 23, 2020
Having once been neighbors in the 1960s and good friends ever since, many of John's kind acts and caring words come to mind. John always found time to attend our family's weddings, christenings, special events and memorial services. He will be dearly missed and fondly remembered. We share in the sorrow and may God grant the Shanahan family strength in this difficult time.
Lydia Zakrewsky and son, Peter
Friend
June 23, 2020
John was such a great guy! Excellent baker, hard-working father, and loving husband to Kay. And that great Irish wit rendered so well with a mischievous twinkle in his eyes! I feel so lucky to have known John for nearly my entire life. He was truly one of a kind. RIP John, we'll miss you dearly.
Jim Sofranko
Family Friend
June 23, 2020
I am so sorry to hear of John's passing. He always had something good to say, something that made you smile. He was a vibrant and delightful man who lived life to the fullest. He will be missed. Love to everyone in his extraordinary family.
Liz Marquez
Friend
June 23, 2020
Sending condolences to the Shanahan Fily
Lydia Zakrewsky Barbely
Family Friend
June 23, 2020
Heartbroken, even though Mr. Shannahan lived a long, happy life, as he is such a wonderful piece of Milltown. Whose childhood in Milltown was NOT made happier and tastier and warmer by this kind, humble, talented, gregarious man. I will not only remember his scrumptious linzer tarts, and brown bags of donut holes, and rye bread, Cork cakes, tea biscuits and the soda bread, but his beautiful gardens of laughing petunias and the sparkle in his Irish eyes. Such a great great loss. I sure hope someone can keep the tradition of the Cork cakes, the recipe from County Cork, Ireland.
Dawn Milburn
June 23, 2020
All of you his children were the sparkle in his eye
Jigs Giglio
June 23, 2020
The world lost a wonderful man. My heart hurts for the family.
Dot McLaughlin DeAngelo
Family Friend
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