Dr. Edward Joseph Shea, M.D., passed peacefully in his sleep July 1, 2014, two days after celebrating his 89th birthday with ice cream, cupcakes and a spirited singalong to "The Sound of Music" with his family.
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Ed was born June 29, 1925, in Springfield, IL, to Leo and Esther (Farnworth) Shea. He was the youngest of four children. His parents and his siblings - Leo Michael Shea, Lawrence Farnworth Shea and Mary Margaret Shea (Farney) - all preceded him in death.
Ed graduated from Cathedral High School in Springfield, the University of Notre Dame, and the St. Louis University School of Medicine. He completed his residency in family practice at the University of Colorado School of Medicine.
Dr. Shea studied medicine as a member of the U.S. Navy. Upon completing his training, he accepted an officer's commission in the newly formed United States Air Force. As a career officer in the USAF, he coordinated USAF hospital construction, designed and established medical services delivery systems and administered hospital and medical clinic networks in Europe, the Middle East and in the Western U.S. He retired in 1968 at the rank of Full Colonel and settled with his family in Colorado Springs where he enjoyed a busy practice of family medicine for 12 years.
Ed also was a charter member of what is now the American Academy of Family Physicians, founded in 1947.
Early in his military career, Ed met his beloved wife Mary Patricia "Pat" O'Connell "over a bottle of blood" as he liked to say, as she drew his blood at a Red Cross blood drive at the Davis-Monthan Air Force Base in Tucson, AZ.
They were married and together they raised five children: Michael Brian (Boston), Bridget Noreen, Kathleen Moira, Brendan Dermott and Patrick Martin (all of Denver). Ed is survived by Pat and their children as well as a grandson, Martin Brendan Shea.
Ed devoted himself above all else to his wife Patsy, with whom he shared a deep Catholic faith, much laughter, and an enthusiasm for song and dance and the music of Broadway.
Upon educating their children, Ed and Pat volunteered at medical clinics in developing countries as a doctor and nurse team. They worked together in Guatemala, El Salvador, Belize, Ecuador and Honduras, mixing a love of travel and a desire to help others.
Ed will be remembered for many things, most especially for his humor, and his love of different cultures and, in every culture, his dedication to improving every person's physical well-being.
There will be a viewing Sunday, July 6, 2014, at 4 p.m. followed by a praying of the Rosary at 5 p.m., both at Horan & McConaty Family Chapel, 7577 W. 80th Ave., Arvada. A funeral mass will be held Monday, July 7, 2014, at 2 p.m. at Holy Ghost Catholic Church, 1900 California St., Denver. The committal service will follow later in the week at Ft. Logan National Cemetery, where Ed will receive full military honors.
In lieu of flowers, memorials in Dr. Shea's name may be made to the
, 501 St. Jude Place, Memphis, TN 38105 or the
, 2255 S. Oneida St., Denver, CO 80224.
Please share your memories at HoranCares.com.
Horan & McConaty
7577 W. 80th Ave. Arvada, CO 80003
Published in The Gazette from July 4 to July 5, 2014