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Jessie F. Shea

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BENNINGTON -- Mrs. Jessie Fenn Shea, 85, a resident of East Main Street, died Thursday afternoon, Jan. 26, 2006, at The Centers For Living and Rehabilitation following a lengthy illness.

Jessie was born in Westminster on Feb. 19, 1920, the daughter of the late Howard P. and Jessie M. (Burgess) Fenn. She grew up on the family farm in Westminster and attended local schools, graduating from Bellows Falls High School, class of 1938. Following high school she continued her studies at the Springfield (Mass.) Academy of Hair Dressing.

While spending much of her summers at the Burgess Farm in Bennington she met Robert F. Shea. They were married at St. Charles Catholic Church in Bellows Falls on Sept. 8, 1940. He predeceased her on Dec. 9, 1997.

She worked as a hairdresser for a short time until their first child, Howard, was born. She then became a full-time, stay-at-home mother. Jessie was a communicant of Sacred Heart St. Francis de Sales Church, a member of the Catholic Daughters of America Court St. Andrew No. 259, a former Girl Scout and Cub Scout leader. Later in life, she volunteered for many years as a gray lady at Southwestern Vermont Medical Center in the X-ray department.

Jessie was a voracious reader. She loved swimming, gardening and vacationing at the beaches of Maine. She was also an excellent seamstress. She enjoyed crocheting blankets, clothing, mittens and hats for her family.

She leaves her children, Howard J. Shea of Easton, N.Y., Peter M. Shea of Poestenkill, N.Y., Timothy R. Shea of Salem, N.Y., Mark F. Shea of Bennington and Kathy A. Shea of Williston; a sister, Dr. Patricia Fenn of Gladwyn, Pa.; 12 grandchildren, 10 great-grandchildren and many nieces, nephews and cousins. In addition to her husband she was predeceased by her brothers, Winslow, Russell and Frederick Fenn.

A Mass of resurrection will be celebrated Monday, Jan. 30, at 10 a.m. from Sacred Heart St. Francis de Sales Church. A prayer service will precede the funeral Mass at 9:45 a.m. at the Hanson-Walbridge Funeral Home. She will be laid to rest next to her husband, Robert, in the family lot in Park Lawn Cemetery. A memorial reception will follow the committal services in the parish center. Friends may call at the Hanson-Walbridge Funeral Home on Sunday from 5 to 7 p.m. when the family will be present. The vigil service will be held at 6 p.m.

Memorial gifts may be made to Warm the Children Fund or to the Mayo Clinic-Alzheimer’s Research, in care of the Hanson-Walbridge Funeral Home, 213 West Main St., Bennington, VT 05201.

To send condolences to the family of Jessie F. Shea, visit www.sheafuneralhomes.com.

All members of the Catholic Daughters of America Court St. Andrew No. 259 are asked to meet at the Hanson-Walbridge Funeral Home on Sunday at 5:30 p.m. to pay their respects to the family of Jessie Shea.
Published in Bennington Banner on Jan. 28, 2006
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