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John O'Shaughnessy, 81, lived in New Milford

Published 10:41 pm, Wednesday, October 10, 2012
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John Edward O'Shaughnessy, 81, of New Milford, died Oct. 4 surrounded by his family. He was the husband of nearly 59 years to Ann (Short) O'Shaughnessy.

A gregarious, loving man and proud first-generation American, Mr. O'Shaugnessy was born June 16, 1931, in the Bronx, N.Y., to James O'Shaughnessy of Adare, County Limerick, Ireland, and the former Beatrice Morrisrowe, of Ballaghaderreen, County Roscommon, Ireland.

He attended Cardinal Hayes High School on the Bronx's Grand Concourse. A strong student and accomplished athlete, he ran the anchor leg of Hayes' 1947 New York City High School Championship Mile Relay team at Madison Square Garden.

His talent and hard work earned him a four-year scholarship at Iona College, from which he graduated in 1952 with a degree in accounting.

Mr. O'Shaugnessy's greatest pride and life priority was his family, which began with his marriage to the love of his life, the former Ann Short. They wed Jan. 9, 1954, at St. Sebastian's Church in Woodside, Queens, N.Y. At the time, he was serving in the U.S. Army, and he and Mrs. O'Shaughnessy were stationed in Georgia. Upon completion of his service, they settled in a variety of Queens neighborhoods, including Ozone Park, Woodside and Douglaston.

Mr. O'Shaughnessy's true life calling beckoned with the birth of first son John, followed by James and Brian. The couple later moved to Katonah, N.Y., where they welcomed a fourth son, nephew Kevin Donohue, into the fold.

Mr. O'Shaughnessy's devotion to family was anchored in his strong Roman Catholic faith. A lector for more than 40 years at each of his parish churches -- St. Anastasia, of Douglaston N.Y., St. Mary's, of Katonah, and St. Francis Xavier Church in New Milford -- he also assisted his parishes as a volunteer in finance administration and a wide variety of youth programs.

Mr. O'Shaughnessy was a financial executive for 40 years, starting as an auditor with Haskins & Sells and moving on to PepsiCo, where he was the International Bottling Group controller and vice president of finance. Later in his career, he held finance vice president positions at Byk Gulden and Aubrey Thomas.

Upon becoming "empty-nesters" in 1992, Mr. and Mrs. O'Shaughnessy moved to New Milford, where he renovated their new home and took up the game of golf. Friendships were launched and nurtured through golf, bridge and his regular lunches with buddies at Retired Old Men Eating Out (ROMEO).

In addition to his wife, Mr. O'Shaughnessy is survived by three sons, John, and his wife, Josephine, of Berkeley, Calilf., James, and his wife, Betty Ann, of Fairfield, and Brian, of New Haven; a nephew, Kevin Donohue, and his wife, Patty, of Tarrytown, N.Y.; and nine grandchildren, Lynn, Claire, Daniel, John, Conor, Lauren, Eileen, Kelly and Timothy. He was predeceased by a brother, James, of Jackson, Mich.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated today (Friday) at noon at St. Francis Xavier Church, 26 Chestnutland Road, New Milford. Burial will follow in St. Francis Xavier Cemetery.

The Lillis Funeral Home in New Milford is in charge of arrangements.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the American Cancer Society or to the New Milford Visiting Nurse Association Hospice Programs, 68 Park Lane Road, New Milford CT 06776.