Charlene A. McMahon
Shaughnessey Banks Funeral Home
50 Reef Road
Fairfield, CT
Charlene Ann Risley McMahon loved to keep a tidy home. She worked wonders with an Electrolux, the way an artist creates magic with a paintbrush. And though dust would prove to be her lifelong nemesis, she always appreciated the irony in knowing that dust is what we ultimately all become.
On the afternoon of June 8, 2021, surrounded by her children, Charlene peacefully slipped away at the age of 77, due to complications from a long-time battle with amyloidosis. A fighter who once KO'd breast cancer, she took even more pride in knowing that she had this rare, relatively unknown condition. She was always happy to talk about it at great length to anyone, sometimes more than once.
The daughter of Charles Risley and Ann Kerrigan Risley, Charlene grew up in Fairfield, CT, where she graduated from St. Thomas Aquinas elementary school and Andrew Warde high school. After that, she attended Mount Aloysius College in Cresson, PA, where one of her greatest memories was playing "Liesel" in the school's production of "The Sound of Music".
A bit older than "Sixteen Going on Seventeen", Charlene married William J. McMahon in 1967, and the couple settled down in Shelton, CT to raise their family.
In addition to cleaning, shopping through mail order catalogs, and decorating for the holidays, she loved good food and good wine. Though admittedly not the greatest cook, no one "fried peas" quite like Charlene.
She loved music, too. From classics like The Beatles and Bee Gees to Ronnie Milsap and Ricky Martin, she loved to sing and dance, usually while cleaning. But no musician would ever capture her heart like teen idol Ricky Nelson, whose autograph she carried in her wallet until her dying day.
Charlene is survived by her sister and brother-in-law, Ellen and Brad Booker of East Granby, CT; her brother, Charles Risley of Fairfield, CT; her daughter and son-in-law, Debi and Jeff Ludwig of East Granby, CT; and son and daughter-in-law, David and Betsy McMahon of St. Augustine, FL. Though separated, she always remained close to her husband, William. Above all, she found the greatest joy in being "Nunu" to her two beautiful granddaughters, Jamie and Kaelyn Ludwig.
Friends and family are invited to celebrate her memory on Friday, June 25, 2021, from 3:00 to 6:00 p.m. at Shaughnessey Banks Funeral Home, 50 Reef Road in Fairfield. A private graveside ceremony will follow Saturday morning, June 26, 2021, at 10:00 a.m. at St. Thomas Cemetery on Mill Plain Road in Fairfield.
Donations to Charlene's memory may be made to McLean Home Care and Hospice by calling 860-658-3702, or by going online to
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Published by Shaughnessey Banks Funeral Home on Oct. 16, 2021.
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3:00p.m. - 6:00p.m.
Shaughnessey Banks Funeral Home
50 Reef Road, Fairfield, CT
Funeral services provided by:
Shaughnessey Banks Funeral Home
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