The Life of Jack Shaughnessy
Jack Shaughnessy epitomized this passage from Corinthians: he lived out “God loves a cheerful giver”. He created and ran a family transport and crane business before becoming one of Boston’s most generous philanthropists.
His family includes his three children; sister Betty Ferrari of Windsor Locks, Connecticut; and several nieces and nephews.
Early Life and Education
John Shaughnessy was born into a poor Irish family living in Cardiff. Living amongst Welsh, English and Irish poor he enjoyed an adventurous childhood; often stealing coal off docks or getting himself into trouble with authorities.
After beginning his career as a theater manager and later writing, he made his mark with Upstairs, Downstairs. Rewriting its Victorian setting to Edwardian England and contributing some of its episodes himself were his key successes as an author.
He was one of Boston’s most generous philanthropists, providing assistance to many agencies and projects. He epitomized what was written in Corinthians’s passage “God loves a cheerful giver”, leading a life filled with deep service to others. He is survived by his sister, daughter and seven cherished nieces and nephews.
Jack Shaughnessy was an ardent proponent of family values. A tireless worker, he always put others before himself. While he occasionally stood up against trends he believed were damaging society, these never became his identity; rather he spoke up without becoming involved; calling community leaders directly and telling them his opinions of them was part of this strategy.
He had an illustrious career at Hope College, teaching for 40 years. Additionally, he was an author with numerous books and articles addressing research methods; furthermore, his findings were presented at various conferences across the country.
He was the loving father of Jaime Middaugh, Kelly (Donnie) O’Dell and Hollie Lauer; grandfather to Nicolas Oyarzabal, Sage Micks Dalton Lauer and Joey Murphy; brother of Mark and Tom; as well as an uncle, cousin and friend to many.
Achievement and Honors
Jack Shaughnessy was honored at a special ceremony to recognize his achievement of earning Eagle Scout status – one of Boy Scouting’s highest accolades. Family, friends and local dignitaries came out to congratulate him and express their pride for this accomplishment.
At the ceremony, Assistant Scoutmaster Rich Veit read from a letter by Boy Scout Council President Scott Amesh and Councilwoman Christine Faustini before Mayor Matthew Anesh and Councilman Derryck White presented O’Shaughnessy with plaques honoring their service as Boy Scout leaders in South Plainfield. Also present at this celebration was Councilman Derryck White with an official South Plainfield pin.
Shaughnessy appeared in 55 games for the Redhawks of Seattle during his time there, averaging 2.0 points, 1.2 rebounds, and 1.1 assists per contest – earning them their Most Valuable Player award that year. A former prep star at Etowah High School before coming to UW as a Division I transfer, Shaughnessy enjoyed immense success playing at both levels during his time on their roster.
Denise Shaughnessy was his high school sweetheart and spouse for 42 years; their four children include Jaime Middaugh (Brian), Jenna Ashcraft (Seth), Jake Shaughnessy, John Shaughnessy; his grandchildren Brielle, Brice Madi Gunner & Penelope as well as sister Carol Okerstrom and brother Tim Shaughnessy in addition to numerous nieces & nephews.
Jack was an individual of great faith who believed hardworking individuals deserved the chance to build the lives they deserved for themselves. Utilizing his business acumen and hard work ethic, Jack used these talents to assist others.
He was known for his generous giving, giving to institutions such as Catholic Charities of Boston, Laboure Center and Blessed John XXIII Seminary. He will be greatly missed; funeral services will take place Wednesday at All Saints Church, Somersville.
He was an active philanthropist, contributing to various charities and causes – especially helping elderly and homeless persons. According to his family, he truly lived out the “God loves a cheerful giver” passage from 1 Corinthians in his giving.
Shaughnessy has made several television and movie appearances beyond Booze Traveler, such as playing Shane Donovan on Days of Our Lives and Maxwell Sheffield in TV Land’s comedy-drama The Nanny.
Shaughnessy also made guest appearances in Disney Channel made-for-TV movie Get a Clue and as Dr. Quintaine in PC game Freelancer. Additionally, he was married for over 25 years to Judy; together they raised three daughters before her passing in November 2013. Together, they will be greatly missed.