Shane O'Leary

Obituary of Shane Timothy O'Leary

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Shane Timothy O’Leary, aged 60 of Dartmouth, passed away November 27, 2023 surrounded by family after his short, but courageous battle with cancer. 

Shane was born the youngest of 4 children on November 25, 1963 to Marie George and the late Roland Michael O’Leary. He was predeceased by his step-father Jean Paul Ayotte, and beloved nephew Davin Moxsom. He is survived by his mother, Marie George (Mervyn); brother, Michael O’Leary (Laurie); and sisters, Linda Moxsom-Skinner (Tom) and Dawn Wallace (Bob).

He reluctantly leaves behind the love of his life and wife, Shelley O’Leary; and their wonderful children whom he adored, Shayla Vandenhoven (Andrew), Pierre Poirier (Shelby), Meaghan O’Leary, Julie Weber (Eric), Emelie Poirier (Jordan), and Isabelle O’Leary; his beloved nieces and nephews, Roland O’Leary (Heather), Ryan Moxsom, Brenton Moxsom (Ashley), Alex Wallace, Katelin Gambino (Matt), and Stephanie Burke (Ryan); his treasured grandchildren, Lucie Poirier and Marcus Vandenhoven; along with those he had been eagerly waiting to meet, Tucker Vandenhoven; as well as his honorary daughters, Hsi Ting (Janet) Chiang and Rachel d’Armiento (Eddie) and her parents Pino and Annette d’Armiento; along with many other honorary daughters from years as an international student host; his many cherished friends that became family; and his sweet pets: Bailey, Charlie, and Sammy.

Shane was well known within his community throughout life, initially for his adventurous nature and the camaraderie he shared with friends, acquaintances and teammates he had. He was later known for his athleticism and strength playing basketball, football, and his most beloved rugby, going on to later pass this passion onto nephews and children.

Shane was a natural born leader and protector. Following his years as a DHS Spartan, he carried these traits into his professions as head of security at a local cabaret bar, animal control officer, and finally in his union position with the Amalgamated Transit Union. This Halifax Transit job allowed his passion for helping others to flourish, as he journeyed forth alongside his work family to become a union leader. His years with Halifax Transit held many chapters, but his most favoured were those spent with his work family Jeannie and Kenny. They were his formidable teammates, with whom he would share a stronger bond than blood and who would help him to reach his full potential as the union president of ATU 508. Special thanks to VP Ray for the valued time they shared in office together and stepping up to fill the role during Shane’s illness. As the respected, hard-working President he was, he tried to bring his honour and morals into every difficult decision he had to make for the betterment and protection of his fellow union members. Shane gave himself to this job with grace and humility, with a continued goal of providing safety and security for those he represented. 

Shane’s job with Halifax Transit led him to meet his soul-mate and wife Shelley (a fellow transit union member), with whom he chose to build a family. Their love for one another brought them and their children of previous marriages together to form a beautiful blended family, completed by their youngest born, Isabelle, all of whom he adored and carried so much pride for. Shane held many titles: son, brother, father, uncle, grandfather, and friend. Each role he took to be the most important and fulfilled them with his whole heart. 

Shane’s love was unconditional, his support unwavering, and his notions of family were not bound by blood, time, nor space. He accepted and welcomed all people with open arms and had a way of making you feel special and safe with him. He was a fierce protector for all those he loved and spent his time sharing stories of his pride and love for his children, nieces, nephews, and grandchildren. Despite his physically large and sometimes loud presence, he was a quiet, selfless, and loving soul who treated all others as equals. He dreamt of being the very best grandfather and watching his grandbabies grow up. He valued his family above all, wrote poetry, loved story-telling and filling a room with laughter. He was a master of sarcasm, held a deep passion for music, animals, and the freedom his motorcycle brought him. Every day, he instilled valuable morals into his children, nieces, nephews, and grandchildren - encouraging them to be and do better, judge less, and appreciate more of the beauty around us. His family were his pride and joy and he continues to be theirs. 

Shane lost his courageous battle with Renal Cell Carcinoma and during his disease he received remarkable care. His family would like to extend their gratitude for the amazing care delivered by his oncology/radiology/palliative care doctors and teams, the incredible staff and doctors of the Dartmouth General Hospital Emergency Room and ICU. A special thanks goes out to nurse Molly Ryan and ICU staff member Michelle, for the above and beyond care, and the extra kindnesses they provided to Shane in his final days, as it meant more than he and his family could express gratitude for. Thank you also to the nurses of the ICU for helping Shane to celebrate his birthday with a little extra joy. 

Shane’s close friends and family are invited to remember him in a Celebration of Life at 3:00 pm Thursday December 7, 2023 at the Church of the Holy Spirit, located at 1 Regency Dr, Dartmouth. 

There will also be a proper Irish send-off at Dave Doolittle’s Tap Room in Dartmouth, where friends and family are invited to join in raising a glass in Shane’s honour, sharing in his memory with joy and stories, as he would choose to be remembered. This will take place Sunday, December 10, 2023 at 5:00 pm.

Rest in Peace, Until we meet again - TEAGHLACH


“Part of Me”  
by Shane T. O’Leary

Even when we’re not together
I always hear you whisper in the wind
Your voice rings out among the voices of others

Even when we’re apart
We‘re still so close together
Bound by whispers in the wind

Part of you is part of me
Part of me is part of you

Even when we ‘re not together
I hear you whisper in the wind


Arrangements have been entrusted to Serenity Funeral Home, 34 Coldbrook Village Park Dr., Coldbrook, NS, B4R 1B9 (902-679-2822).

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