Joseph “Joe” Russell McShane, of Worthington, formerly of New Kensington and Oakmont, born July 11th, 1953, was the cherished only child of Simone Hortense Uydebrouke McShane and John Ray McShane (both predeceased) who made their home in Arnold, Pennsylvania. He loved his mother dearly; she raised a true gentleman. Being naturally skilled and inclined, he started working before he was even twelve years old. Some of the projects that he had tackled were to lay a linoleum floor, install a telephone for his mother, cut and install new blinds, wall paper a room, and fix the roof on his family home. He was in the school band, a Boy Scout, a lifeguard, and a mechanic. Even at a young age, he held a variety of after school jobs and was trusted by all. Not only was he hard working, but he loved working, and greater still, he loved fixing things. There was nothing he could not fix or learn. Being tenacious and meticulous, he found each new project to be a personal challenge which he would tackle, never losing patience. He loved learning but he loved teaching even more. He was a good and patient teacher. Quitting school at age 16 and later acquiring his GED, he was a completely self-taught man. He had a brilliant mind and incredible work ethic coupled with an inquisitive nature and strong sense of loyalty. He rose through the ranks wherever he was employed despite his lack of formal schooling. He was also an extremely good judge of character. He would do anything for anyone and rarely had to be asked. He loved his friends and family with all his heart, and once you were in his heart, he would do absolutely anything for you. Joseph married the love of his life, Cynthia Rose Meyer McShane on October 30th, 1982. They had two children together, Brianna Lee McShane and Aaron Joseph McShane. Joe worked for several companies over the last 40 years, all of which were in the forging and tool making industry, including Woodings Verona Tool Works, Ames-Garrant, Council Tool, and most recently Bon Tool. He knew the ins and outs of every aspect of his industry as he started working in the mills as a young man, rising up through the ranks to foreman, plant manager, and eventually being pulled into sales because of his extensive knowledge and experience and his general affable nature. He often remarked that when he retired that he would like to build himself a small forge and work as a blacksmith. He was a friend to all, and he loved animals, especially cats. He even generously tolerated some of his children’s more exotic or more unusual pets. Some words that come to mind are thoughtful, kind, easy-going, supportive, nurturing, and humorous. He loved to joke, tell stories, and make others laugh. He particularly enjoyed sending comical messages just to brighten some one’s day, and of course, the occasional practical joke. His one regret in life was that he was never able to join the military. He would have made a fine soldier. Instead, he turned his love of militaria into his most beloved hobby, that of a Civil War Living Historian whose focus was on portraying the common foot soldier. Remembering and sharing our Nation’s history was very important to him. He was passionate about sharing his knowledge with the younger generations so that it would not be forgotten. Joe was a proud member the of the 62nd Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry out of Kittanning, Pennsylvania where he held honorary rank of Corporal, as well as an active member of the Confederation of Union Generals (COUG) for which he undertook the persona of Sgt. James Patrick “Mickey” Sullivan of the 6th Wisconsin Volunteer Infantry. Joseph was also a Freemason and member of the Seneca Lodge No.805 of the Free and Accepted Masons of Pennsylvania in Kittanning, Pennsylvania.He was fascinated by the martial arts, firearms, swords, and many other forms of weaponry both modern and medieval. He was an avid fan of action films, the more special effects the better. He rode a Kawasaki Ninja motorcycle as a young man, which he loved, and finally, recently purchased a beautiful blue (his favorite color) Harley Davidson, to the total surprise of his wife, saying that he wanted to ride a motorcycle again before he “got too old”. Just recently he and his wife, Cindy began discussing making a point to have fun and enjoy life while they could, for as long as they could, instead of always focusing on work as they had done so much of their lives, and they made many plans to do so. He was incredibly passionate about building a dream home for his family. He was quoted as saying “This is the last house I will ever build, and after that I’m done.” He truly meant to live out the rest of his life with his family on their little farm in the country in the house he built (still building!) with his own hands. He was a devoted father to his children Brianna, Aaron, and Matthew, and a true family man. He was first and foremost a gentleman, opening the car door for his beloved wife even after 40 years of marriage, even in the pouring rain. He opened and held the door for her, and all the ladies, would happily give up his seat, and made his wife a fresh pot of coffee every single morning before leaving for work, sending her a message that “pretty girls deserve fresh coffee”. His wife was truly the love of his life. She was his world, and he was hers. October 30th, 2021 would be their 39th Anniversary. October was his favorite month of the year. He believed in the inherit goodness of people. In life he was a brilliant shining light in a dark world. Friends and family will be received on Friday, October 8, 2021, from 4-8 p.m., at English Funeral Home & Cremation Services, Inc., 378 Maryland Ave., Oakmont, PA 15139, where a service conducted by Joseph’s Civil War family will follow at 8 p.m. In lieu of flowers donations may be made to the Armstrong County Historical Society.
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