Shannon Sanders McDonald died after a brief but hard-fought battle with adrenal cancer. We are comforted knowing she is now with her beloved little sister, Lynne, who unexpectedly passed only days earlier.
Shannon is survived by her caring mother, Constance Doerer Sanders, her sister, Lauren Sanders Rolfes (Jude Rolfes), and brother, John Stewart Sanders (Katherine Sanders) and many nieces, nephews, cousins, and her beloved cat, Schnazzles. She is predeceased by her father, John Raymond Sanders, and sister, Lynne Sanders Vidmar (David Vidmar).
Shannon was born in Baltimore and had just celebrated her 67th birthday. She was a graduate of Randallstown High School and went on to earn two bachelor’s Degrees from Towson University, a Master of Fine Arts from Maryland Institute of Art, and a Masters of Architecture from Yale University. Shannon’s first loves were art and teaching. She was an accomplished artist, an art teacher, and Art Department Chairperson for the Baltimore County Public Schools. She next earned her graduate degree in Architecture from Yale University after which she worked as an architect in Chicago and Atlanta. Next, she took her love of teaching to higher education as an Associate Professor of Architecture at Southern Illinois University where she focused on transportation and sustainability. She won many awards and accolades while at SIU. Shannon had published over 100 professional articles and presentations as well as published a book, The Parking Garage: Design and Evolution of a Modern Urban Form.
Shannon’s childhood nickname was “Shiney” as she was always smiling and engaged with anyone and everyone. She was a busy one for sure. As the oldest of four siblings, she was Mom’s helper and completely dependable. Upon entering school, she easily mastered math and gradually uncovered her creative side inherited from her maternal grandfather, Thomas A. Doerer. Throughout her high school years, she won awards for her many different art mediums. She loved to design batik scarves along with jewelry, clay models and pottery. She was even persuaded to enter the Maryland Junior Miss Contest and was a finalist for her talent, beauty, and poise.
As an adult, she was an incredible baker, known for her chocolate flourless cakes and decorative holiday cookies. She even baked a five-layer wedding cake for a dear friend. She always planted and maintained vegetable gardens in her lovingly (blood, sweat and tears) restored home in Towson Maryland. While not having children of her own, she was a thoughtful and giving Aunt and Great Aunt to her four nephews, three nieces, three great nieces and two great nephews.
Shannon enjoyed fine cuisine and was especially fond of Maryland steamed crabs and fresh oysters. The world was her oyster and she loved shucking them and picking crabs with her Grandfather Sanders.
Shannon was a very recognizable female professor confidently zipping around her small university town of Carbondale Illinois in her convertible Miata no matter the weather. She loved the change of seasons, especially winter snow. Her thick wild, gray-streaked hair, glasses and leather backpack were her fashion statements!
She was at peace back home in Baltimore Maryland with only the fondest memories of her life; most recently, with her youngest sister Lynne only rooms away at Johns Hopkins. How ironic life is.
We will miss you Shiney! You are not alone.
The date for a Celebration of Life to be announced later. In lieu of flowers a donation may be made to The American Cancer Society in memory of Shannon.
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