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Doris Teresa (née Kelly) Shinn, 99, passed away at her home in Northridge, CA, on August 8, 2023.
Born in Harrison, NJ, on May 2, 1924, to Herbert and Ruth (née Hollister) Kelly, Doris was a child of the Great Depression. She remembered its lessons throughout her life and treated every hardship as a temporary misfortune that would soon be overcome. A clever bright-eyed girl with a bob cut, young Doris sang and tap-danced in vaudeville shows and was always the star student in her class.
In 1942, she married her classmate and fellow star student, Harold “Happy” Joseph Shinn. Together, they raised five girls and three boys at their long-time home in Kearny, NJ (1950-1991). Their house was filled with children and with music—Doris singing low harmonies as her sons played guitar and her daughters sang while washing the dishes each night.
Her children grown, Doris returned to school. She earned her degree from Montclair State University in NJ in 1975 and became a school librarian. She loved books and loved teaching children to read.
Doris moved to Georgia in 1991 and lived in Jonesboro before joining her eldest daughter Barbara in Northridge, CA in 2018. Swimming daily into her nineties, Doris was at home in any pool and enjoyed her Winters by the sea in Marathon, FL. She taught countless children and adults to swim and helped them find the joy that she found in the water.
The proud matriarch of the Shinn family, Doris took great delight in her 20 grandchildren and 26 great grandchildren, who helped keep her young. Scattered coast to coast and across the pond, her big family nonetheless stayed close. Doris cherished every gathering and every chance to raise her voice in harmony with her family.
If you met Doris, you would remember her: she refused to be daunted by adversity and greeted every challenge with a smile. She embodied strength of will and fortitude of spirit. Doris hated goodbyes, preferring to smile and wave “so long.”
Doris is survived by her children, Barbara (Swerkes), Peggy (Naumann), Jerry, Janet, Lorrie (Ostroman), John, and Betty (Wells), their spouses, and many grandchildren and great grandchildren. She is predeceased by her husband Happy, her son Dave, and her granddaughter Ginny (Naumann).
Join us in saying “so long” to Doris at the Thiele-Reid Family Funeral Home, 585 Belgrove Drive, Kearny, NJ, on Friday, October 6th from 3-5pm and 7-9pm. A funeral Mass will be celebrated at St. Stephen’s Roman Catholic Church in Kearny on Saturday, October 7th at 10am. Interment will follow at Holy Cross Cemetery in North Arlington.