Anne Agnes McShane Stengel died at the age of 93 on Jan. 13, 2020 at 12:45 o'clock in the afternoon. She did not much like January so it was a good time for her to say goodbye, which she did bravely. We know she passed into Heaven where she joined her beloved husband Larry and her precious son Bob, whose loss in 2010 shook her to her core. After opening her heart and her home to her family - who were everything to her - at Thanksgiving and Christmas, she struggled with the winter, frequently going with Larry to their home in Avalon where she would walk and read and sew and knit, usually for grandchildren, and await the spring and summer, which she loved.
What she loved was modest, but beautiful. She loved her front porch swing, especially when she was holding a baby; she held 15 grandchildren on that swing. She loved conversation and iced tea on the porch; she loved visitors and she had the gift of hospitality. She loved family vacations at the shore and she loved the busyness of her home as her family grew. They were nurtured, supervised, loved and prayed for in the safe and secure home she and her husband created.
Anne was born on Dec. 29, 1926 in Media, Pennsylvania, and was the second of 7 children of Francis Joseph McShane and Agnes Delaney McShane. She grew up in Drexel Hill, graduated from Holy Child Academy, Sharon Hill, Pa., then from the School of Nursing at Fitzgerald Mercy Hospital. She worked as a nurse at first at the Institute of the Pennsylvania Hospital, then as a private duty psychiatric nurse. She later taught nursing and worked as a nurse in the Appel Infirmary at Franklin and Marshall College. In 1951, she met a handsome young lawyer, Lawrence E. Stengel, who wanted to marry her as soon as possible. After a brief courtship, which she preferred, they married on Nov. 3, 1951 and moved to Lancaster, where he practiced law and they began 55 years of married life together. They had six children, five of whom survive her. It is her legacy that her children love one another and love their children and now their grandchildren because what they knew before they knew or had anything else was her maternal love.
She was an avid reader and bridge player and a skilled nurse. She was active on the Social Justice Committee at Sacred Heart Parish and she volunteered in her parish and in her community, most recently as a tutor with the Lancaster-Lebanon Literacy Council.
Nana was a true matriarch. She loved her Catholic faith. If her children or their spouses or her grandchildren were facing a challenge, they were on her prayer list and they knew it. She treated others with respect and compassion. She carried no pretense, and saw right through the pretentious. Throughout her entire life until her very last hours she was kind, encouraging, grateful and very, very funny. Anne understood people and was interested in stories. To know her is to know a story, or many stories, and that will be another of her great legacies. She took the time to care about her family and created memories like that front- porch swing, magical Christmases and Easters, celebration and reverence for the Catholic sacraments, stroller walks, multiple and mysterious casseroles, the Jiffy Café (a small pop-up restaurant in the corner of her kitchen), coffee at the round kitchen table, cookies and milk and a donation from the seemingly bottomless broth bank when a grandchild was under the weather, to name just a few.
Anne is survived by son Lawrence F. Stengel, married to Theresa; daughter, Mary Elizabeth Stengel, son, James R. Stengel, married to Kathleen; daughter-in-law Linda M. Stengel, who was married to the late and beloved Dr. Robert J. Stengel; daughter Kathleen S. Alton, married to Jamie; and son, John P. Stengel, married to Marycatherine. She adored, cherished, enjoyed - and now is survived by - 15 grandchildren, Timothy M. Stengel (Kristan), Emily S. Lyons, (Patrick), Peter F. Stengel, Julia D. Stengel, Joseph L. Stengel, Trevor S. Stengel (Kathleen), Claire S. Stengel, Dr. Michael R. Stengel (JoAnn), Jennifer C. Stengel, Robert L. Stengel, Matthew T. Alton (Lizzie), Amy K. Alton, Catherine K. Stengel (Connor), Andrew P. Stengel and Luke P. Stengel. Anne is also survived by 7 great-grandchildren: Henry Francis, William McKinne, Margaret Anne, Theodore Robert, Oliver Michael, Casey Thomas, and Francis Joseph, who bears Anne's father's name. Anne is also survived by her sister Loretta Powers and her husband Bud, both of whom she loved dearly. She was preceded in death by her husband, Lawrence E. Stengel, Esq. and by her son, Dr. Robert J. Stengel and also by her five brothers, Frank, James, Robert, Joseph and Gerald McShane.
Anne's family is especially grateful to the nurses, caregivers and staff at Homestead Village who cared for her with great skill, kindness, compassion and humor and who took the time to get to know her and who became, to her, part of her extended family. They grew to love her and she felt that-and felt the same toward them.
We will celebrate her life at a Mass of Christian Burial to be held at Sacred Heart Church, 558 West Walnut Street, Lancaster, PA on Friday, Jan. 17, 2020 at 11:30am. The family will greet friends at the church before the Mass, beginning at 10am. She will be interred at St. Joseph Cemetery following the Mass.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions in Anne's memory may be made to Lancaster Catholic High School, 650 Juliette Avenue, Lancaster, PA 17601.
To send condolences, visit: SnyderFuneralHome.com
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