Members of the U.S. Navy honor guard lift the casket carrying the remains of Navy Signalman 3rd Class William Shanahan Jr., who was killed in the Dec. 7, 1941, attack on Pearl Harbor. His remains were identified this year and buried Sept. 3, 2019, in his hometown of Cedar Rapids, Iowa. (photo/Cindy Hadish)

William Shanahan Jr. (photo/Murdoch-Linwood)

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa — Hundreds of veterans, family members and the public turned out to pay their respects for an Iowa sailor killed Dec. 7, 1941, in the attack on Pearl Harbor.

William James Shanahan Jr., 23, of Cedar Rapids, died while serving in the U.S. Navy aboard the USS Oklahoma. One of his sisters donated DNA almost 20 years ago and finally, in May 2019, his remains were identified.

St. Patrick’s Catholic Church filled with mourners on Tuesday, Sept. 3, for a funeral Mass for the fallen sailor, with burial at Mount Calvary Cemetery in Cedar Rapids.

Shanahan’s parents, William and Florence Shanahan of Cedar Rapids, and five of his siblings — Margaret, Robert, Thomas, and twins Patricia and Patrick — died before his remains were identified. His sister, Mary Lou Shanahan Pierce, is his closest surviving relative, along with nieces and nephews.

Flags fly over the burial site. (photo/Cindy Hadish)

Just 7 when Shanahan died, Pierce said she was the youngest and he was the oldest of their siblings, so she didn’t have any clear memories of her brother, other than the profound sadness surrounding his death.

Shanahan was born on July 22, 1918, in Cedar Rapids, and graduated from St. Patrick’s School in 1936.

His obituary noted that Shanahan was employed as a Gazette carrier salesman and also worked for Concrete Materials Co.

He enlisted in the U.S. Navy on October 5, 1940. His father William Sr. served in the U.S. Navy during WWI, and his three younger brothers also served in the U.S. Navy.

While most who attended the funeral Mass had never met Shanahan, William Dale of Cedar Rapids, said he remembered him.

Dale, who just turned 90, recalled watching Shanahan play basketball for St. Patrick’s High School, when Dale was a fourth-grader.

Sailors wait for a military salute at the graveside. (photo/Cindy Hadish)

He came to pay his respects to Shanahan’s family at the funeral.

So, too, did Anita Miller, whose mother, Marie, was engaged to Shanahan.

Miller, 72, who lives in Independence, remembered hearing about Shanahan, recalling visits to see his mother when the family lived in Cedar Rapids.

Her mother, who died in 2010, married a few years after Shanahan’s death, but Miller said she never forgot him.

Miller said her daughter heard about Shanahan’s remains being identified.

“She emailed that he was coming home,” Miller said. “I had to be here for my mother’s sake.”

Memorials may be directed to the Patrick J. Shanahan VFW Post 788, Cedar Rapids, for a William J. Shanahan memorial. See Shanahan’s obituary at Murdoch-Linwood Funeral Home and more images from today’s services in Cedar Rapids, below:

Navy honor guard members stand at attention at the graveside of William Shanahan Jr. (photo/Cindy Hadish)

William Shanahan’s sister, Mary Lou Pierce, is presented with a flag at Mount Calvary Cemetery. (photo/Cindy Hadish)

A U.S. Navy honor guard member salutes William Shanahan’s casket. (photo/Cindy Hadish)

Anita Miller, whose mother was engaged to William Shanahan, talks to family members. (photo/Cindy Hadish)

Navy honor guard members fold the flag that covered William Shanahan’s casket. (photo/Cindy Hadish)

A Navy bugler plays taps at Mount Calvary Cemetery in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. (photo/Cindy Hadish)

An honor guard fires a three-volley salute at the graveside service for William Shanahan Jr. (photo/Cindy Hadish)

Members of the Navy honor guard stand next to William Shanahan’s casket at the cemetery. (photo/Cindy Hadish)

The flag is removed from William Shanahan’s casket during the graveside services. (photo/Cindy Hadish)

Several veterans groups came to pay their respects to the family of William Shanahan. (photo/Cindy Hadish)

Navy honor guard members stand at attention during the graveside services. (photo/Cindy Hadish)

The bugler stands at Mount Calvary Cemetery during graveside services for William Shanahan Jr. (photo/Cindy Hadish)

A dozen military groups, including the American Legion, were represented at the services for William Shanahan Jr. (photo/Cindy Hadish)

The flag-draped casket is brought under a canopy at Mount Calvary Cemetery. (photo/Cindy Hadish)

Navy honor guard members stand at attention during graveside services. (photo/Cindy Hadish)

The casket is carried to William Shanahan’s final resting place in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. (photo/Cindy Hadish)

Service members salute as the car carrying William Shanahan’s remains passes. (photo/Cindy Hadish)

Patriot Guard Riders pass through Mount Calvary Cemetery on Sept. 3, 2019. (photo/Cindy Hadish)

The funeral procession makes its way to Mount Calvary Cemetery. (photo/Cindy Hadish)

A flag flies at half-staff over Mount Calvary Cemetery. (photo/Cindy Hadish)

Patriot Guard Riders wait to begin the funeral procession for William Shanahan Jr. (photo/Cindy Hadish)

Veterans salute as William Shanahan’s casket is carried from St. Patrick’s Church. (photo/Cindy Hadish)

The funeral Mass for William Shanahan Jr. concludes at St. Patrick’s Church. (photo/Cindy Hadish)

St. Patrick’s choir members pray during the funeral Mass. (photo/Cindy Hadish)

The flag from William Shanahan’s casket is folded at the end of the funeral. (photo/Cindy Hadish)

Military veterans stand outside St. Patrick’s Catholic Church in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. (photo/Cindy Hadish)

Navy honor guard members wait outside St. Patrick’s Church. (photo/Cindy Hadish)

Flags are posted outside St. Patrick’s Church in honor of William Shanahan Jr. (photo/Cindy Hadish)

The processional at the end of funeral services for William Shanahan Jr. makes its way down the aisle of St. Patrick’s Church. (photo/Cindy Hadish)