Cocoa Beach, FL — Retired Massachusetts Judge Edward J. Shea peacefully passed away at his home in Cocoa Beach, Florida, he was 91 years old. His wife of 62 years, Kathleen, predeceased him by eight months. Ed and Kay had been living in Cocoa Beach, Florida for the last decade, but lived, worked, and raised their six children in Greenfield, MA while spending summers on Cape Cod.
Judge Shea was born in North Adams, MA and moved to Turners Falls, MA when he was a child. During the summers, he loved his time as camper and counselor at Camp Wiyaka in Richmond, New Hampshire, where he later served as Director of the Camp for 30 years.
While growing up in Turners Falls, he developed many lifelong friendships and his passion for sports. Judge Shea’s childhood battle with Polio restricted what he could do in sports but never restricted his enthusiasm. When he could no longer play sports, he wrote about them. From editing and reporting for his local high school and college papers, he later became a sports correspondent for the Boston Globe, Boston Herald and Boston Post. When he wasn’t writing about sports, he was officiating at them and was inducted into the Western Massachusetts Football Hall of Fame and the United States Lacrosse Hall of Fame.
President of the Class of 1944, Judge Shea attended his beloved Tufts University, where he earned his graduate and undergraduate degrees and stayed on to work in a number of roles ranging from Professor to Director of Sports Relations. After leaving Tufts, he went on to become President of the Tufts University Alumni Association and Reunion Chairman for the Tufts Class of 1944. He was awarded the Tufts University Distinguished Service Award and the Jumbo Club Distinguished Service Award for Tufts Athletics.
In 1962, after receiving his law degree from Boston College School of Law and moving back to Greenfield, he commenced his practice of law in Greenfield as a partner with the firm Hayer, Callahan and Shea and then later with Callahan, Shea and Curtis before being appointed Presiding Justice of the Eastern Franklin District Court in Orange, MA where he served until his retirement in 1992.
In Greenfield, Judge Shea held many memberships, from Vice-President and Director of the Chamber of Commerce, to President of the Greenfield YMCA and President of the Kiwanis Club. He served on various town committees, he was a Town Meeting Member, Chairman of two-town Charter Commissions and Chairman of the Town Government Study Commission. He was Vice President of the Greenfield Jaycees, Chairman of the Franklin County Arthritis and Rheumatism Association, Vice-President and Director of the Chamber of Commerce, Chairman of the Legal Division of the United Way of Franklin County, President of the Greenfield Y.M.C.A., President of the Franklin County Mental Health Association and President of the Kiwanis Club. He was a Trustee and Clerk for the Greenfield Savings Bank and a Trustee, Vice-President and Clerk for the Farren Memorial Hospital in Turners Falls, MA. Judge Shea was also very active with the Blessed Sacrament Church where he loved being an usher every Sunday. In 1974, his community involvement resulted in the honor of receiving the Franklin County Man of the Year award.
Judge Shea leaves his six children, Edward (Ted) and his wife Cheryl Kreidermacher of Sudbury, MA, Kathleen and her husband Harry Kettel of Gales Ferry, CT, Maureen and her husband Allen Foster of Gloucester, MA, Barbara of Forest Hills, NY and his two caregiver daughters, Karen Shea and Geraldine (Geri) Shea of Cocoa Beach, FL. He leaves his beloved four grandchildren, Kimberly and Kelly Foster of Gloucester, MA, Matthew Kettel of Gales Ferry, CT and Elizabeth Kettel of San Francisco, CA. He leaves his sister Marjorie and her husband George Kennard of North Andover, MA, as well as many nieces and nephews.
The family will be holding a memorial Mass for both Ed and Kay Shea on Saturday, November 9, 2013, at 11:00 a.m. at the Blessed Sacrament Catholic Church on Federal Sreet in Greenfield, MA.
In memory of Ed and Kay Shea, friends and family are welcome to donate to the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation.
ARRANGEMENTS: Smith-Kelleher Funeral Home, 87 Franklin St., Greenfield is in charge of arrangements. To send a message of condolence please visit www.smithkelleherfuneralhome.com.