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December 4, 2012

Collette Joan Shannon

Collette Joan Shannon

ONEONTA — Collette Joan Shannon died at home on Dec. 1, 2012, after a long, courageous battle with Alzheimer’s disease. She was 83.

Born Collette Joan Lake in Manly, Iowa, on Oct. 23, 1929, she was the daughter of Benjamin and Elizabeth (Coogan) Lake.

Collette graduated from Manly High School and earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from Iowa State Teachers College (now University of Northern Iowa) at Cedar Falls. She majored in art and minored in industrial art.

Collette taught art in the Decorah, Iowa, public school then became assistant dormitory director at Iowa State Teachers College.

On Aug. 26, 1954, Collette married Jerry A Shannon Jr. of Meshoppen, Pa., in Manly, Iowa. Collette and Jerry moved to Oneonta in 1956, when he accepted a teaching position at SUNY Oneonta.

In addition to her role as a homemaker, Collette substituted for May Kedney as an art teacher in the Oneonta elementary schools and worked at Dairy Queen with Joan and Al Sayers Lutz for several years.

Collette combined her lifelong interest in art and music with her superb sewing skills as an avid volunteer in the Oneonta area. Working with Esther Elfenbein, Betty Fraley, Donna Briggs, Al Davino, Margarita and Olga Malinova and others, she constructed costumes for the

Glimmerglass Opera, Orpheus Theatre, Catskill Theatre Company, Cooperstown Theatre Festival and SUNY Oneonta theatre department for many years.

She helped with costumes for Joe Stillman’s video

“Ruby Moon” and embroidered sacraments for the First United Methodist Church designed by Jean Parish.

Along with her friend Richard Kubiak and many others, she was involved in the formation of the Upper Catskill Community Council of the Arts (UCCCA) and volunteered in the gallery.

An active member of Oneonta’s First United Methodist Church, she sang soprano in the choir under the direction of Kathleen Sisson and Raymond Paradise and was a member of the United Methodist Women’s

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