Former Haverhill Assessor Shanahan Dies at 90

Former City Assessor Emily “Betty” Shanahan passed away Saturday, Jan. 17, at the Hannah Dustin Nursing Home, two days shy of her 91st birthday.

Shanahan, a long-time head clerk for the city’s Board of Assessors, was appointed in October, 1982, as a full assessor by then-Mayor William H. Ryan. She replaced Assessor Salvatore J. Urso upon the latter’s retirement. At the time, she became the third woman to fill a seat on the then-three-member board, along with Helene Murphy and Marianna Morse. Shanahan first joined the city auditor’s office in May, 1965, after many years in the Haverhill shoe industry. She transferred to the assessor’s office during September, 1966. She was presented with a Citizenship Award by Ryan in May, 1983, and retired in 1985.

Born in Haverhill, Shanahan was married to the late Leonard Shanahan for 43 years before his passing in 1989. She graduated from Haverhill High School in 1941. After her city retirement she continued to work part time at the K-Mart store in Haverhill for ten years.

She leaves two sons, Thomas and his wife, Aurelie (Hideriotis) Shanahan of Haverhill and Peter and his wife, Lisa (Pike) Shanahan of Haverhil; eight grandchildren, Mathew Shanahan and his wife Kelley, Nicholas Shanahan and his wife Rachel, Thomas Shanahan, Michael Shanahan and his wife Stephanie, Erin Shanahan, Kerri Shanahan, Meghann (Shanahan) Cook and her husband Roger, and Brian Shanahan; and six great-grandchildren; Madison, Ava and Ethan Shanahan, Liam and Sean Cook, and Emily Shanahan. She also leaves a sister-in-law Mary (Shanahan) Cleary along with several nieces and nephews. The family would like to express special thanks to the staff of the Hannah Dustin Nursing Home, especially Courtney and Regina, for their kindness and compassion.

A Mass of Christian burial will be celebrated Wednesday, Jan. 21, at St. James Church at 10 a.m. Burial will follow at Linwood Cemetery, Mill Sreet,. Haverhill. The family will receive friends and family at the Kevin B. Comeau Funeral Home, 486 Main Street, Haverhill, Tuesday Jan. 20, from 3 to 7 p.m.. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Perkins Braille and Talking Book Library at 175N Beacon Street Watertown, MA.

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