Gene Shaughnessy passed away on Saturday, June 20, 2020 at his home. He was born November 14, 1943 at his parent’s home in Seneca, Kansas to Thomas Edward and Alice Theresa (McGreevy) Shaughnessy. He was the youngest of ten children. After his parents passed away, Gene and two siblings moved to Lawrence, Kansas in 1954 to live with an older sister, Pat Smith and her husband Quay. Gene attended Lawrence public schools until 1960 when he moved to New Buffalo, Michigan to live with sister Audrey and her husband Jim.
Gene graduated from New Buffalo High School in 1961.
Gene enlisted in the United States Navy in 1961 and was honorably discharged in 1964. While serving he was stationed aboard the USS Aircraft Carrier Coral Sea and later the Guided Missile Destroyer USS King. Gene enjoyed his tour of duty in the Navy, including two extensive “land and sea” Western Pacific Cruises.
In 1966 Gene married Nancy Kay Colburn and they were happily married until she passed away in 1981. During their marriage Gene attended and graduated from Washburn University in 1972. Gene worked various construction jobs and was in the building trades until 1976 when he began employment with the City of Lawrence as a Housing Rehabilitation Specialist. He was well liked by both his fellow workers and the higher-ups and was eventually promoted all the way to Chief Building Inspector in 1978. He served faithfully in that position for 23 years until he retired in 2001.
Gene was a dedicated and committed professional who served in various professional organizations including a stint as President of the International Conference of Building Officials (ICBO) – Heart of America Chapter. In recognition of a lifetime commitment to professional practices Gene was selected in 2019 for induction into the ICBO Hall of Fame.
Gene was one of four people who founded the Lawrence St. Patrick’s Day Parade Committee. After 32 years the Committee has raised over One-Million Dollars for youth and young adult charities and organizations in the Lawrence and Douglas County area.
As a long-time member of the Lawrence Sertoma Club, Gene served in various official positions including a year as President.
For fun Gene rode his Harley-Davidson with numerous friends covering geographic areas throughout the Central and Southwest United States. Additionally, there were visits to Sturgis, South Dakota.
Gene was an avid golfer – playing many, many rounds with lots and lots of friends and buddies at the former Alvamar Golf Course and at Eagle Bend – both in Lawrence, Kansas.
Gene was preceded in death by both his parents, brothers Edward, Gerald, Bill, Paul and Robert, and sisters Mary Frances Putnam and Audrey Rogers.
Surviving family members include sisters Pat Smith (husband Quay) of Lecompton, Kansas and Rosie Aldrich (husband Ernie) of Lawrence – along with several nieces and nephews.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Lawrence St. Patrick’s Day Committee, Visiting Nurses, or other organizations of your choice in care of Rumsey-Yost Funeral Home, PO Box 1260, Lawrence KS 66044.
Graveside services will be 10:00 A.M. on Thursday, June 25, 2020 at Oak Hill Cemetery, Lawrence, Kansas. Friends may call on Wednesday, June, 24, 2020 from 10:00 A.M. through 8:00 P.M. at the funeral home.
Condolences may be sent at rumsey-yost.com.