Thomas P. Shea
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AGE: 96 • Manalapan
Thomas P. Shea died peacefully on September 7, 2013. He was born in Holyoke, Massachusettes on February 9, 1917. He resided in Brooklyn before moving to Manalapan, New Jersey. Thomas Shea enlisted in the United States Army, becoming a proud member of the 26th Infantry Division, Company C "The Big Red One" Blue Spaders of World War II. Rising to the ranks of Technical Sergeant, he landed on Omaha beach on D-Day during the invasion of Normandy. Over five years, Sergeant Shea fought in the Normandy, Northern France, North Africa, Rhineland, Sicily and Tunisia campaigns. Sergeant Shea's heroic and valiant actions during battles did not go unnoticed. He became a recipient of many distinguished medals. These medals include the European-African-Middle Eastern service medal, American Defense Service Medal, Bronze Star Medal with Oak Leaf Custer and distinguished Unit Badge. Sergeant Shea received The Purple Heart with Oak Leaf Cluster as well as The Silver Star for gallantry in action. In 2011, Sergeant Shea was awarded the French Legion of Honor Medal by the French Embassy.
Thomas loved baseball, fishing, dancing, and big band era music. "Swing and Sway with Tommy Shea". He will especially be remembered for his kind heart, genuine smile, and thinking a bologna sandwich was the greatest thing in the world. Despite war and adversity, Thomas Shea truly thought life was beautiful.
Thomas is predeceased by his wife Rita and survived by his beautiful sister Shelia. Thomas will be lived on by his three children Doreen,Thomas, and Robin, his two son-in-laws Edward and Douglas, eight grandchildren Kelly, Debra, Thomas, Lisa, Randy, Brett, Erica, Lizbeth and two great grandchildren Ethan and Alysha.
Visitation will be held on Wednesday September 11, 2013 from 7 -9pm and Thursday September 12, 2013 from 2-4 pm and 7-9pm at the Waitt Funeral Home and Cremation Service, 501 Highway 79, Morganville, NJ 07751. A funeral mass will take place at St. Clement Church on Friday September 13, 2013 at 11am. Thomas will be buried at a later date in Arlington National Cemetery, Arlington, VA. Donations can be made in his name to the VA New Jersey Health Care System, East Orange Campus, Voluntary Service Office (135), 385 Tremont Avenue, East Orange, NJ 07018, 973-395-7258. To share stories, photos or to post an online condolence, please visit www.waittfh.com
Waitt Funeral Home
501 Highway 79 Morganville, NJ 07751
Published in Asbury Park Press on Sept. 10, 2013