Jean E. Shay

Jean E. Shay


September 3, 1922 – February 14, 2020

Jean Eleanor Rhode Shay, 97, passed away at West Hills Assisted Living under the care of Hospice, in the presence of chamber music and her son and daughter-in-law Mike and Mona Shay.

Jean was born September 3, 1922 in Madison, Wisconsin to Athanasius Richard Rhode of Green Bay, Wisconsin and Ella Rubie Masson of St Anne, Illinois. She grew up and attended college in Madison, focusing on classical music and violin/viola performance which remained a life-long passion.

On August 7, 1943, Jean married J. Ralph Shay at her sister’s home in Bonner Springs, Kansas. Jean and Ralph soon moved from Wisconsin to Arkansas, where Ralph completed his PhD., then moved to West Lafayette, Indiana in 1945, where they lived for 21 years and had a family of six children. In 1951, Jean was a charter member of the Lafayette Symphony, where she played for 15 years. In 1966, the family moved to Corvallis, where they built a family home on 5 forested acres, 3 miles west of Corvallis. Jean continued to reside there until age 94.

Jean was a beloved daughter, wife, mother, aunt, grandmother and great-grandmother. She was an avid violist, gardener and bridge player. She often played chamber music and bridge in her home with her many friends into her 90s. She actively lived at home until age 94, when she moved to assisted living in 2016.

Preceded in death by sister Marian Adelle Wheeler on January 20, 1975, brother Richard Masson Rhode on February 1, 1988, her husband Ralph on March 27, 1980 and her daughter Susan Shay on July 6, 2015.

Jean is survived by her children Margaret Prasad, Linda Katz, Michael Shay, Elizabeth Brinkley and Jennifer Jordan and more than 20 grandchildren and great-grandchildren. She was greatly loved and will be missed by all. McHenry Funeral Home handled the arrangements.

To plant a tree in memory of Jean Shay as a living tribute, please visit Tribute Store.

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