After a courageous fight against an overwhelming illness, Renee Shaw Kearney passed away on Thursday, July 25, with her family by her side.
She is survived by her daughter Christina Kearney, her mother Lynn Shaw, her sister Susan Delanty, niece Heather Delanty, nephews Jason and Gavin Delanty, numerous uncles, aunts, cousins, and her cherished cats.
She was 59.
An accomplished weaver, woodworker, cook and artist, she was a unique personality of note in the community. Her greatest joy was reserved for her daughter Christina, who grew up as the highlight of her mother’s life. She was a lifelong resident of Skyview, and attended local schools before embarking on a life marked by her creative pursuits, and an abiding love of children and animals.
She knew everyone at Skyview, babysat children, walked dogs, fed the cats, and took care of her neighbors throughout her life.
She was also beloved by hundreds of students, parents and staff at P.S. 81 where, for the last 22 years, she shepherded children and their parents through the daily travails of the school day with her own blend of maternal devotion and uncompromising standards. (Woe to those parents who arrived late for pickup).
Everyone who knew her recognized her as a champion for the kids at that school.
She worked hard as a weaver and made furniture, including a wooden cradle for her cousin that subsequently was inhabited by other family members, including her own baby daughter. She fashioned new costumes every year for Christina’s Halloween jaunts, and provided the foster home of choice for any number of homeless or abandoned cats.
She was never shy about expressing herself, but tempered her opinions with her quick wit and a big laugh.
Talk to anyone in Riverdale, and they’ll have a story to tell about Renee.
Contributions can be made in Renee Shaw Kearney’s name to Sean Case Animal Rescue, a non-profit, no-kill shelter specializing in the rescue, rehabilitation and placement of dogs, cats, reptiles, birds and small mammals.
More information can be found at NYAnimalRescue.org.