Shannon McCabe was born Jennifer Frost on 11/25/53 in San Francisco and adopted by Eugene and Lilian McCabe. The McCabe’s were anxious to create a typical large catholic family and went on to adopt 9 other children, 4 daughters and 5 sons. It is unknown when she started going by Shannon or where the name came from, but most likely it took place during the late 60’s as she was enjoying the era of personal rediscovery along with the rest of her generation.
A few years later she gave birth to a baby girl who she named Shawn (later going by Shawna) while hopping and exploring the slopes of Colorado. Shannon and Shawn traveled and sampled many towns and cities across Montana and Colorado until taking a big leap and moving to Sacramento, CA in the late 70’s. They lived in Sacramento for the next 15 years or so while Shannon pursued a degree in Geography graduating from California State University Sacramento in 1989. Shannon was a scientific and chemistry genius as well as a phenomenal piano player, and engrossed lover of books and gardening. She once won an award for the tastiest cherry tomatoes and ugliest vegetable (a radish) in the Sacramento Tomato Festival.
Shannon traveled to Europe twice, once with her daughter, a trip won off a Sacramento radio station drawing to go a 10 hour concert in London, England celebrating the 70th birthday of Nelson Mandela, seeing artists of all walk of life perform, including a surprise performance from legendary favorite Stevie Wonder.
After attempting a short stint as a self employed business woman, Shannon decided to reinvent herself once again as a gold panning expert, moving into nature and wilderness hoping to discover a magnificent treasure.
Shannon later relocated to the Turlock area where she was welcomed and loved by local churches and enjoyed a free life answering to no one, enjoying dusty heat of California and making use of every item she discovered in her travels. Shannon loved animals and cared for stray cats. Even when resources were low and money was extremely hard to come by, she worked tirelessly to be sure that her cats, such as Baby, were fed, loved and well cared for.
Shannon spent the last days of her life with her daughter by her side, playing and listening to music she loved, and being forgiven for any and all that may be held against her. She was reminded of all cool and wonderful people in heaven she would be meeting, including Cary Grant, Mother Theresa (her namesake), Gene Kelly, all the astronauts from the Challenger, and her late granddaughter, Aria Smith. Her daughter Shawna was by her side as she took her last breath and her heart beat for the last time, while being told that she was not alone and it was ok to let go, that peace and love was moments away. Beautiful flowers and gardens were in sight from her room at the Alexander Cohen Hospice House.
Shannon is survived by her sisters, Anne Biern, Kathleen Elsey, and Margaret McCabe, brothers Tim, Joseph and Terry McCabe, as well as her half brother Daniel Burke, her parents Eugene and Lilian “Irish” McCabe, uncle Robin Frost and aunt Kay, daughter Shawna McCabe-Smith, and grandson Garrett Smith.
A memorial service to celebrate the life of Shannon McCabe-Smith will be held Wednesday Aug 10th 12pm at Enclave Community Church
581 E. Canal Ave, Turlock, Ca.