Cover photo for John Henry Shawhan's Obituary
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1942 John 2024

John Henry Shawhan

June 13, 1942 — April 20, 2024

Indianapolis

John H. Shawhan passed away peacefully after a brief illness, surrounded by his family on April 20, 2024 in Mobile, Alabama. He was born on 6/13/1942 in Evansville, IN. 

John was a 1960 graduate of Carmel High School, where he lettered in Track. He attended Indiana Business College. 

He enlisted & served in the US Navy for 4 years. After basic training at Naval Station Great Lakes, John’s permanent duty station was Little Creek, Virginia where he was assigned to Construction Battalion Two (Seabees) and was a Special Forces member.

After his service with the Navy, John joined the life insurance business where he spent his entire working, career starting as an accountant. When IBM introduced computers to the industry, John transitioned to Project Management and system implementations. He was employed by Indianapolis Life Insurance Company for 26 years, retiring in December,1999, as Vice President of Information Systems. At ILICO, John had the opportunity to become deeply involved with Habitat for Humanity both locally and internationally. 

John was quite a character, known for his sense of humor, dry & quick wit, and an ability to elicit smiles and laughter. He liked to affectionately tease others in a playful way. He frequently made up quirky nicknames for friends, coworkers and family members. He prided himself on his independence, was an effective mentor to junior employees, and was a very caring person. 

John married his beloved wife and best friend, Kathleen “MURPH” Shawhan on April 17, 1982. They celebrated 42 years of marriage together and enjoyed travelling. John loved becoming a “Snow Bird” on Dauphin Island, AL spending precious time with Murph and their beloved Westie, LUCA. 

John’s faith was a huge part of his adult life. He often attended Mass in downtown Indianapolis during his lunch hour. After retirement he added the daily 8:15 AM Mass to his routine. He was an active member of Holy Spirit at Geist Catholic Church & was involved in a several ministries there. He was a former member of St. Luke Catholic Church, where he served on the School Board for 4 years.

He was an avid sport fan. He loved Indy Car, Formula 1, & NASCAR. He loved the Dodgers, especially when they were in Brooklyn, and was a big Bears Fan & Cubbie fan. 

Most of all, John’s legacy is his family and the influence & guidance he provided to his children, grandchildren, and extended family members.

John was preceded in death by his parents, James H. Shawhan and Betty (Smith) Shawhan. In addition to his wife, Kathy, he is survived by his son, Stephen S. “Bo” Shawhan (Diana); daughter, Lisa Foley (Charlie); Brother Stephen M. Shawhan (Sandy); Cousin, Bill Bakeis; Brother-in-Law Joseph W. Murphy (Sarah); granddaughter, Maddi Zemsky (Josh); grandson, Connor John Foley (Valeria Acuna Foley), 3 great-grandchildren, Hudson Foley, Mia Foley, Jordyn Zemsky; his “adopted” grandchildren, Megan, twins Katie and Emily Foley; and step-granddaughters, Erin and Emily Lubach.

Services will take place at Holy Spirit at Geist Catholic Church in Indianapolis on Monday, June 24, 2024. Family and friends will gather for a Visitation from 9:30 AM – 11:00 AM at the Church. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 11:00 AM, followed immediately by a Celebration of Life memorial & meal in the church’s adjoining Social Hall. John will be laid to rest privately at Our Lady of Peace Cemetery, Indianapolis. 

For those so inclined, memorial contributions can be made in John’s name to Greater Indy Habitat for Humanity, St. Meinrad Seminary and School of Theology, St. Meinrad, IN , or a charity of your choice. 

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of John Henry Shawhan, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services

Visitation

Monday, June 24, 2024

9:30 - 11:00 am (Eastern time)

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Memorial Service

Monday, June 24, 2024

11:00am - 12:00 pm (Eastern time)

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