SHEEHAN, David J. Jr.
David J. Sheehan, Jr., 90, of West Hartford, husband of Nancy J. Sheehan (deceased), decorated World War II veteran and retired West Hartford teacher for 48 years at Sedgwick Middle School, passed away Friday (October 25, 2013). He graduated from the University of Connecticut with a Bachelor's degree in Government and Masters' degree in Education. Prior to graduating from UConn, David enlisted in the U.S. Army in 1942, was commissioned 2nd Lt. from Officer Candidate School (Fort Benning, GA) and served in the Rhineland and Central Europe campaigns as a WWII Infantry Officer (Anti-Tank Unit Commander- Reconnaissance Officer) with increasing leadership responsibilities with active ground combat. During his Army career, he earned the American Campaign Medal, European African Middle Eastern Campaign Medal, Army of Occupation Medal, WWII Victory Medal, Combat Infantryman Badge, and Bronze Star Medal. After WWII, he transferred to the U.S. Army Reserves (CT Civil Defense Office) and ultimately retired as full Colonel with 30+ years of service. David moved to West Hartford in September 1949 to teach Social Studies & History at Sedgwick where he educated an estimated 4500+ students in his 48 year tenure, retiring in June 1997. Former students may recall his crew-cut, his reputation as a tough but fair teacher and/or his acronyms such as "L.O.P.P." (Lack of Prior Planning). While at Sedgwick, among other activities, he organized the Washington, DC student trip for 15 years, ran the 8th grade Field Day for decades and even shared some of his military training by teaching the first Sedgwick marching band how to march! He was the recipient of the 1996 West Hartford Education Association's Teacher of the Year Award. David was a St. Thomas the Apostle Church parishioner and past Parish Council officer, member of the Holy Family Retreat League, the West Hartford Squires, and the Executive Board for West Hartford Fellowship Housing. He supported his wife's involvement with Girl Scouts by being a volunteer in any capacity needed. He also enjoyed his 15+ years volunteering in the Admitting Office at St. Francis Hospital and was passionate about distributing books for newborns through the Read to Grow program. He was an avid conversationalist and "a character" with a twinkle in his eye, a booming teacher's voice, sharp intellect and steadfast devotion to his family. He loved to travel and annual family trips were the norm with a once-in-a-lifetime trip to Australia. He is survived by his two daughters, Meg Sheehan of West Hartford and Patti Albee and her husband Scott of West Hartford and his four grandchildren, Ashleigh, Bryan, Justin and Kylie Albee, all of West Hartford. He also leaves other friends (like family) behind: Kaye Riddle of Enfield, Johnnie E. Jordan of New Britain and Julia Marshall and her partner Tim Zielonko of England.
Calling hours will be Wednesday (October 30) from 4-7 p.m. at the Molloy Funeral Home, 906 Farmington Ave., West Hartford. Friends are invited to join David's family at the celebration of his Mass of Christian Burial on Thursday (October 31) at 10 a.m. in St. Thomas the Apostle Church, 872 Farmington Ave., West Hartford. Burial will follow in Fairview Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made in his memory to Sedgwick Middle School PTO, 128 Sedgwick Rd., West Hartford, CT 06107 to create a lasting memorial. Online remembrances may be made at www.molloyfuneralhome.com.