Jean A. Shannon
September 27, 1921 ~ March 19, 2018
Jean A. Shannon, age 96 of New Hampton, IA formerly of Elma, IA passed away on Monday, March 19, 2018 at New Hampton Nursing and Rehab in New Hampton. Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 10:30 AM on Friday, March 23, 2018 at Immaculate Conception Church in Elma, IA with Father Mark Murphy celebrating the mass. Burial will be held at Calvary Cemetery in Elma. There will be a one hour visitation at the church prior to the funeral mass on Friday. Online condolences for Jean’s family may be left at www.conway-markhamfh.com. Memorials may be directed to the family. Jean Audrey Shannon was born September 27, 1921 in Elma, Ia. The eldest of seven children of George and Clara (Elgas) Shannon. Jean was baptized and confirmed in the Immaculate Conception Catholic Church in Elma and graduated high school from Immaculate Conception Academy in Elma in 1939. Jean began her 33-year career as a telephone operator first in Elma then New Hampton. She worked for United Telephone of Iowa until the telephone company closed its New Hampton branch. A forced early retirement was thoroughly enjoyed with much travel. Jean saw sights in London, England, and throughout Ireland, Progresso, Mexico, Washington DC, Leech Lake, New Orleans, Detroit, Chicago (by train), Harlingen, TX, Florida and Alaska. Jean liked the warm weather of Texas and soon became a regular snowbird for 31 year at Sunshine RV Park in Harlingen. During her time there, Jean was recognized for mentoring students in the HOST (Help One Student to Succeed) program for 30 years. She was also a member of the Sunshine RV Park choir and helped facilitate the weekly bingo and entertainment events. During the warm weather months of Iowa, Jean was a regular volunteer at St. Joseph’s Hospital in New Hampton. Jean belonged to St. Mary’s Catholic Church and was a member of the choir and rosary society. Jean proudly donated a military booklet, which she created over years of compiling photos and newspaper articles of local (Elma) veterans (89) during WWII, to the Elma American Legion. Also noted in the booklet were her brothers Lee Shannon (Navy) and Jerome Shannon (Army). Of special note, Jean celebrated an 82-year penpal friendship with Ms. Hazel Yoshimoto of Honolulu, HI. Hazel and Jean continued correspondence via letters, cards and phone calls beginning in 1936 as what started out as a 6th grade class assignment to learn about other cultures. They last spoke to each other March 4,, 2018, and wished each other much love. She was an avid seamstress, sewing most of her wardrobe. In fact, Jean was known to have worn a different dress every day at work. She also took pride in sewing bibs for newborns at St. Joseph’s Hospital for decades, each month unique to a holiday or special event. Jean was proceeded in death by her parents, three brothers and their wives, Paul (Fran) Shannon, Jerry (Barbara) Shannon, and Lee (Marion) Shannon, and one sister and her husband, Rita and Bob Boos, and infant sister, Elizabeth (at birth), nephew and godson, Al (Tom) Shannon, niece, Patti Friedof and a special four-legged great-nephew Donnie. After Rita’s passing, Jean played a significant role in the Boos family and they, in turn, stepped in as caregivers in Jean’s later years. She is survived by her sister Marge (Shannon) Gansen, brother-in-law Gerald Gansen, many nieces and nephews and numerous great and great-great nieces and nephews.