Sorry, I just discovered that my grandmother Nellie/Ellen GARDENER nee McDOUGALL, died 8 Oct 1952. Went to the cemetery and she's buried with my grandfather.=, I couldn't find her before because although the names on the burial plaque are correct, the cemetery has her listed as Alice Marion in their database.
Also I have established that Ellen SHANAHAN, wife of JD McDougall was definately still alive in 1940. I now have confirmation of that from 2 people who actually knew her.
So not knowing that, you provided the SHANAHAN info. Having said all that, the names are just too coincidental so I still think there's a connection I'm not getting.