For Jack Shaughnessy, businessman, life was all about the quality of charity

John J. “Jack” Shaughnessy of Milton, retired president of Shaughnessy and Ahern Co. and Shaughnessy Crane Service, Inc., and a leading Catholic philanthropist, died last Wednesday, Nov. 27, 2013.

Predeceased by his wife of 53 years, Mary E. (Lagace) Shaughnessy, he was the father of Stephen and his wife Hazel of Cheshire, England, Jack Jr. and his wife Barbara of Hingham, James and his wife Joan of Hanover, Michael and his wife Carol of Hingham, Susan Harrison and her husband Ian of Hanover, Linda LeRoy and her husband Peter of Braintree, and Elizabeth “Lisa” Whalen and her husband Mark of Quincy.
Jack, who was born and brought up in Quincy, attended BC High and Tufts University, and served in the US Navy, leaves seventeen grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren.

Just three weeks before his death, on Nov. 6, Mr. Shaughnessy was honored by the Congregation of St. Joseph as recipient of the “Making a Difference” award at a dinner at Boston’s Seaport Hotel. The citation composed by the sisters read: “Jack J. Shaughnessy, Sr., a leading Catholic philanthropist in and around the Boston area for more than fifty years, has lavished his time, talent, and treasure performing the Corporal and Spiritual Works of Mercy for countless others. Through his abundant gifts for those most in need, Jack has earned the Lord’s acclamation: ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’ ”

Mr. Shaughnessy was well-known for his philanthrophy of such charitable institutions as Catholic Charities, the Laboure Center, the Congregation of the Sisters of St. Joseph of Boston, the Society of Jesus, the Oblates of the Virgin Mary, the Center for Delayed Vocations at Blessed John XXIII Seminary, Boston College High School, Thomas More College, Nativity Preparatory School of Boston, Fontbonne Academy, the Catholic Schools Foundation of Boston, and many others.

A Mass of Christian Burial was celebrated in Saint Elizabeth Church Milton on Saturday, Nov. 30, and interment was in Milton Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, donations in Jack’s memory may be made to The Laboure Center, 275 West Broadway, South Boston, MA 02127; My Brother’s Keeper, PO Box 338, Easton, MA 02356-0338; St. John’s Seminary, 127 Lake Street, Brighton, MA 02135; or Blessed John XXIII Seminary, 558 South Street, Weston, MA.