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RIP: John Ledwith Shanley

Jjs1ohn Ledwith Shanley, known to many in Ave Maria, passed away Oct. 18 at Physicians Regional Hospital in Naples at age 81.

He was a familiar sight in Ave Maria, often riding around town in a golf cart accompanied by his faithful dog, Birdie.

After attending high school in in Mineola, NY, John graduated from Princeton University in 1956 with a degree in Electrical Engineering. He then received a law degree from Fordham University and was admitted to the New York Bar.

John spent several years working for the Sperry Rand Corporation in New York and Utah, as engineer and attorney coordinating the contracts for the development of the Polaris Missile System, the first to be fired from a submarine. A nature-loving and peaceful man at heart, he went on to open and operate a wholesale greenhouse business for over thirty years. Headquartered in Pennsylvania, The Ivy Guild designed and shipped living ivy topiaries and plants along the East Coast. John's work appeared at the White House under President Reagan, The Plaza Hotel in New York, and Sesame Place in Pennsylvania.

John met his wife, Brenda, in 1974 on Long Island, New York. They travelled the country together with an adventurous spirit and love for each other and their travels included spending an afternoon with Mother Teresa.

The Shanley family traced their ancestors to Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton, the first American saint.

John retired to Ave Maria in 2010. He is survived by his wife, Brenda; brother Michael and wife Ann; daughter Susan and husband Drew Turner; daughter Mary Rose and husband Warren Siao; grandchildren John, Claire, William, Katherine, Johnny, Patrick, and Ryan. He was predeceased by his sister Nancy and brother James.

His funeral Mass will be Thursday, Oct. 29, at 6:30 p.m. in the Ave Maria oratory. Coffee, cake, and fellowship will follow. Donations may be made to Franciscans of the Renewal, Missionaries of Charity, Bronx, or Naples Cat Alliance.

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