Sep 29, 1943---Sep 22, 2022

Mary Jo Cahill, 78, of Shawnee, Kansas passed away Thursday, September 22, 2022 following a brief illness and surrounded by loved ones. The visitation will be from 4:30-7:00 p.m. on Monday, September 26 at Porter Funeral Home, 1835 Minnesota Avenue, Kansas City, KS. A private family mass will be held at the Cathedral of St. Peter on Tuesday, September 27. In lieu of flowers the family suggests memorial contributions to the Cathedral of St. Peter. 

The daughter of Martin (Marty) and Allien (Hatala) Zahradnik, Mary Jo was born on September 29, 1943 in New York City, New York where Marty was stationed during the war. Upon returning to Kansas City, she attended Christ the King Grade School and graduated from Bishop Ward High School in 1961, where she was captain of the cheerleading team and met the love of her life Patrick “Shorty” Cahill. Mary Jo attended the University of Kansas, where was she was a member of the Chi Omega Sorority, graduating in 1965. 

She married Shorty on June 19, 1965 at Christ the King Church, and was blessed with two children, Sean and Scott. Mary Jo taught kindergarten and 1st grade in KCK, devoted time to her boys and family, and later joined the Wyandotte County Appraiser’s Office where she worked for numerous years. 

Mary Jo was a devoted wife, dedicated mother, grandmother, and friend to many. She loved to read and was rarely without her Kindle. She enjoyed going out to eat with friends and family, but her favorite pastime was attending and following her grandchildren’s activities and lives. From school programs, sporting activities, birthday celebrations, and family gatherings – these were her most cherished times. More recently, she became savvy at online livestreaming and social media, able to follow these activities in the comfort of her pajamas. 

Mary Jo was preceded in death by her husband Shorty in 1991, brothers-in-law John Cahill and Edward “Sandy” Cahill. She is survived by her two sons, Sean Cahill (Kelly), Scott Cahill (Linda), grandchildren, Kinsey, Patrick, Avery, and Delaney Cahill, Sara and Austin Gillespie, and Michael and Lauren Cahill, sisters-in-law Ellen Cahill and Regina Cahill, nieces and nephews and many cousins. 

Mary Jo’s family wishes to thank the staff of Brookdale at Rosehill for their love, care, and friendship over the past decade.


Melinda Hartel Sep 25 ,2022

Friend ,Roeland Park ,Kansas

Mary Jo and I shared a love of reading, though she did a great deal more of it than me. She used to bring her Kindle to musical entertainment and, if she didn’t care for it, surreptitiously read, holding the kindle under the table. She loved a good glass of red wine and always knew if the bottle had been open too long. She loved watching the birds out of her windows and despised the marauding squirrels. She was neat and tidy - a place for everything and everything in its place - and hated clutter. She always spoke her mind - you never had to guess what she was thinking. She was one in a million and I was proud to call her my friend. ❤️

Maria (Hudson) Griffiths Sep 25 ,2022

Family friend & neighbor ,Basehor ,Kansas

My thoughts and prayers are with Sean and Scott and their families. MaryJo was a great lady and neighbor. Sending love and hugs.

Bob Orth Sep 26 ,2022

Brookdale driver and friend ,Shawnee ,Kansas

My thoughts and prayers to her family. I became close to Mary Jo as her driver taking her to her appointments. I would take her for her 3 glazed donuts in a box at Crisp Cream donuts. We had great conversations. I will miss her. I know she is now with Shirty and the Angels. She loved her family for sure. ❤️

harry cooper Sep 26 ,2022

Old friend ,Canton ,Georgia

Sorry I didn’t get to see you. You where always a special person. Will miss you God Bless You

kate lynch Sep 26 ,2022

Friend ,Kansas City ,Kansas

Sean and Scott, I am so sorry for your loss. I loved your Mom. She gave me such great advice when we were co-workers at the Appraisers Office. She edited my papers, listened to me worry about the results of my tests. She loved to tell me, "told you so, when I did well. When I was wrestling with going to law school, she listened to my pros and cons and then told me to go for it! I did. We also shared a love of reading. She was a great friend to me and I will always be grateful that we worked together and became friends. I am teaching a class on Monday evening and cannot attend her wake. Hugs to all of you.

Mary Ann (Burke) Holmes Sep 26 ,2022

Friend of the family ,Shawnee ,Kansas

Scott and Sean, I’m so sorry for your loss. My heart goes out to you. My parents will give your parents some good company.

Mark Stimac Sep 26 ,2022

Friend ,Olathe ,Kansas

Scott and Sean, I am very sorry to hear of your moms passing. She was a nice lady. I think back at times, about all of the amazing parents we had in our lives, growing up in the neighborhood and laugh at how we were mostly oblivious to that fact. She's with your dad and the angels. I hope that helps with the pain you feel now. God bless.

Elizabeth Conaway Sep 26 ,2022

Mary Jo, who let me call her MJ, kept me and all my coworkers in line at Brookdale Rosehill.

Bridget Holton Sep 29 ,2022

friend ,Kansas City ,Kansas

I am so sorry to read about Mary Jo's passing. I worked with her many years ago in the Appraiser's Office. Although I hardly saw her since then, she always had a special place in my heart. Although I imagine she hated to leave her family here on earth, I'm sure she's elated to be reunited with Shorty. Love and prayers to her earth family...

Dan Breitenstein Oct 01 ,2022

Old Friends ,Overland Park ,Kansas

I was so sorry to hear of Mary Jo's passing. She was a lifelong friend of my sister, Mickey Breitenstein (deceased), and always treated me very well as a pain in the rear little brother whenever she was at our house. She was not only beautiful but also a sincerely nice person, which was unusual for girls her age regarding friends' younger brothers! Although I haven't had the opportunity of seeing her in person for a number of years, I have always remembered her very fondly. From reading her beautiful obituary, it is clear that she continued being the sweet, caring woman whom I so admired as a young teen. God Bless her and her family, and may she rest in peace with Shorty in Heaven...

Carmen-Elena Sachs Oct 02 ,2022

Friend ,Louisville ,Kentucky

Mary Jo was very special. I met her many years ago through my very good friend PJ. I enjoyed conversing and laughing out loud with her while sharing a meal and a few beverages at PJ’s house. She will be dearly missed. RIP Mary Jo. I pray for the friends and family.

Joe LeVota Oct 04 ,2022

Ward ,Shawnee ,Kansas

May her soul Rest In Peace.

Sue Schmidt Oct 10 ,2022

So sorry to hear about your loss. You are in my prayers.


Porter Funeral Home
1835 Minnesota Avenue
Kansas City
Zip Code:
Sep 26 ,2022
4:30 PM
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