Paula Shannon passed away December 29th, 2019 in Parker, Colorado, after struggling with health challenges for several years. Paula was born December 22nd,
1946 in Trenton, Missouri. The daughter of Paul and Josephine (Jo) Lowther, the Lowther’s moved to Boonville, Missouri in 1956. Paula graduated from Boonville High School in 1964 and graduated with a degree in Education from the University of Missouri, in 1969. She later earned a masters degree in public administration, from the University of Phoenix, in 1996. Paula married her high school sweetheart, Jim Shannon, of Boonville, Missouri on November 24, 1966. Shortly after marriage, Paula’s life journey with Jim took them overseas to Izmir, Turkey where they lived within the community, for 2 years, and were blessed with the opportunity to live and experience the culture of Turkey and travel throughout Europe.
Paula was an enormously capable and confident woman, who became a role model and leader to many. Paula’s passion for education and literacy forged a path for her to be influential to many educators and children through her various roles. For most of Paula’s career in education, she worked for Littleton Public Schools, in Littleton, Colorado. Paula began her educational career as a literacy specialist inspiring “at risk” children to love to read. As she evolved in her career, Paula always kept her focus and passion on accelerating educational goals for children. At the pinnacle of Paula’s educational career she became Director of Curriculum and Assessment.
After retiring from Littleton Public Schools, Paula’s leadership skills tackled a new cause for her hometown of Boonville, Missouri and the State of Missouri. She helped found the Katy Bridge Coalition, in 2005, and became the executive director of the coalition. Paula’s powerful and charismatic leadership within the Katy Bridge Coalition influenced local and state politics. Together Paula and the coalition overcame Union Pacific’s intentions to tear down the Katy Bridge, ultimately saving the Katy Bridge positively affecting the commerce and tourism of Boonville, along with the Katy Trail.
Paula and Jim took great joy in family and friends. Paula and Jim rejoiced in their love and devotion to each other for over 50 years. Friends marveled at how, at any available moment, they jumped at the chance to “cut a rug” to their rock and roll favorites. They loved hosting parties, including celebrating major life milestones with friends and family. Their love for each other inspired numerous generations of friends and families as a guiding light for true love.
In 1970, Paula and Jim welcomed their first child, James Mitchell Shannon, into the world. As a devoted mother she particularly enjoyed treasured times with Jim and Mitch in the Rocky Mountains where she enjoyed watching Mitch downhill ski race for the Copper Mountain Ski Team. During these times, Paula loved the activities the mountains offered and the high country ambiance which lead to many family Thanksgivings, Christmases, and other cherished family moments. One of her favorite family memories was their 6-week European vacation where they explored their Lowther and Shannon heritage, in England and Ireland, and back to Izmir, Turkey allowing Mitch to see where he was born.
Paula’s dedication, everlasting love, and care for Jim was unparalleled. She made the decision to retire early and move back to their hometown and the place they first met, Boonville, Missouri. During this time, they moved into Paula’s childhood dream home, a Victorian home on High Street, overlooking the beautiful Missouri River and a view of the Katy Bridge. Paula’s love for Jim took her on daily journeys, a 90 minute one-way trip to Warrensburg, Missouri, where she spent quality time with Jim ensuring his needs were being met, as he battled with Alzheimer’s.
Starting in 2003, Paula’s family grew to include Mitch's wife Kristen Wetzel Shannon of Casper, Wyoming and two grandchildren James "Kieran" Shannon and Eliza "Delaney" Shannon. Paula is preceded in death by her husband Jim Shannon, her parents Paul Martin Lowther and Mary Josephine Lowther, and her infant son Ryan Patrick Shannon. Paula’s surviving family includes her son Mitch (Kristen) Shannon and family, of Parker, Colorado, her sister Pam Lowther (Mike) Fennewald of Albany, Georgia. Her brother-in-law Don (Diane) Shannon and family of Fort Collins, Colorado and her sister-in-law Peg (Pat) Mulhern and family of Centennial, Colorado. A memorial and celebration of Paula’s life will be at 11:00am on Saturday, January 18th, 2020 at the First Christian Church, 301 Fourth Street, Boonville, Missouri. There will be a reception following in the Fellowship Hall at the First Christian Church. Memorial donations can be made to the Alzheimer’s Association.
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