George Thomas Shannon (born October 22, 1935) passed away quietly on Sunday, July 1, 2018, surrounded by family at Campbell House hospice care in Collingwood. George was 82 years old. He is survived by his wife Susan Shannon, and her son Matthew Walach (Emily D’Amato) and George’s children from his first wife, Eleanor Simpson (nee Gillespie) — Mark Shannon (Camelia Linta), Heather Short (Howard), Erin Pennacchio (George) and Sean Shannon (Beth). He was also loving Grandie to Hannah and Chandler Short, Grace Shannon and Alfie Walach as well as brother to Elizabeth Hill (Wayne), Jack Shannon (Jean), Sam Shannon (Alice) and Isabel Shannon. Plus inherited brother to Susan's siblings John Petelka (Verna) and Bill Petelka (Heather) He was a beloved cousin, uncle and great-uncle to many nieces and nephews.
George was born in Hamilton to Irish immigrant parents, John Shannon and Katie (nee McManus), and began a teaching career at the young age of 18. Teaching in the beach strip area of Hamilton, George soon developed the firm yet effective professional demeanour that would serve him well throughout his career. He was loved and respected by many of his staff and students.
Along the way, George advanced his education and obtained a Master’s degree from McMaster University. He continued to advance his position in the Peel Board of Education system until reaching his desired goal of Principal. He completed his career at Millers Grove Senior Public School. Principalship suited George as he preferred to work with a strong, hand-picked team of teachers yet still retain direct contact with students.
George completed his work duties in 1989 and then enjoyed a long retirement highlighted by travel and his favourite pastime — golf. Golfing at Cranberry Golf Course rewarded him with many lifelong friends. George also served as a volunteer with the Golf Association of Ontario, supervising a close team of friends who spent many years together slope rating golf courses in the Huronia district.
In 1999, George married his wife, Susan, with whom he has shared a wonderful 19 years of marriage in Collingwood. Susan was by his side throughout his recent health challenges. These challenges were initiated by a stroke in February of this year.
In addition to his love of sports, George was a huge appreciator of music, movies, crossword puzzles and, most importantly, books. He was a voracious reader and had a strong mind for recounting details of history and family stories alike. He loved watching “Jeopardy!” because he could answer so many of the questions.
George loved being a father. Becoming a father was one of his earliest life dreams. He is greatly missed by all of his family.
A celebration of George’s life is planned for Sunday July 8th, 2018 at The Bear Estate, Cranberry Resort, 300 Balsam Street, Collingwood, Ontario. All friends and family are welcome. The celebration begins at 12 noon. Formal proceedings at 1 p.m. followed by an informal gathering until 4 p.m.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations in George's name to Hospice Georgian Triangle, Campbell House or World Vision Canada.