Paul Shannahan Wenger
Pittsford, N.Y. – Paul Shannahan Wenger passed away peacefully at home in Pittsford, N.Y., on August 8, 2019 at age 37, after a courageous two and a half year battle with brain cancer. Born in Holyoke, MA, on July 2, 1982, to Lorraine (Shannahan) and the late Paul H. Wenger, Paul spent his childhood in Longmeadow, MA, Williamsville, NY, and Amherst, NH. A 2000 graduate of Souhegan High School in Amherst, NH, he went on to attend Boston College as a Presidential Scholar, graduating Phi Beta Kappa in 2004. He received his PhD in Mathematics in 2010 from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Upon completing a post-doctoral fellowship at the University of Colorado Denver in 2012, Paul accepted a position at the Rochester Institute of Technology, receiving tenure in 2018. Along with his teaching responsibilities, his research resulted in thirty publications in peer-reviewed journals.
Paul’s passion for music played a strong role throughout his life. He played the trombone in numerous ensembles in high school and college and it was through his involvement in the Boston College Marching Band that he met his wife, Liz. Paul loved hiking and running, completing several full and half marathons, and was an avid sports fan, especially of the Boston College Eagles, Buffalo Bills, and Boston Red Sox. His vast knowledge and quick wit kept those who knew him amazed and laughing.
Paul and his beloved wife, Liz, would have celebrated twelve years of marriage on August 11, 2019. A devoted husband and father, nothing pleased Paul more than going on adventures with his daughters, Molly and Colleen, including attending Bills training camp, “special breakfasts” at Tim Horton’s, and hiking in the Adirondacks. Paul loved experiencing the world through the eyes of his girls.
Paul is survived by his wife, Elizabeth Abbott Wenger, and two daughters, Molly Elizabeth and Colleen Mae, all of Pittsford, NY; his mother, Lorraine S. Wenger of Amherst, NH; his sisters, Elizabeth L. Wenger of Brookline, MA, and Johanna H. Wenger of Merrimack, NH; his in-laws, Jane and Richard Theriault of Bristol, CT, and Thomas and Claude Abbott of Bristol, CT; his sister-in-law, Katherine Abbott of Bristol, CT; and many loving aunts, uncles, cousins, and friends.
Paul was predeceased by his father, Paul H. Wenger; his paternal grandparents, Paul C. and Ruth (Harrington) Wenger; and his maternal grandparents, John M. and Helen (Doherty) Shannahan.
Friends may call Monday, August 12, from 2-4 and 6-8 PM at Anthony Funeral Chapels, 2305 Monroe Ave., Rochester, NY 14618. Friends are invited to bring a written memory or photo for the Family’s Memory Book. A Funeral Mass will be celebrated Tuesday, August 13, 11 AM at Church of the Transfiguration, 50 W. Bloomfield Rd., Pittsford; a reception to follow at the church. Private interment at St. Mary’s Cemetery, Needham, MA.
In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to American Brain Tumor Association, 8550 W. Bryn Mawr Ave., Suite 550, Chicago, IL 60631 or URMC Wilmot Cancer Center, Neuro Oncology, 300 East River Road, Box 270032, Rochester, NY 14627. To share a memory of Paul or send a condolence to the family visit www.anthonychapels.com.