Paul A. Sheehan

Exeter - Paul A. Sheehan, 92, died Tuesday, March 26, 2013, at Exeter Hospital.

He was born Dec. 21, 1920, in Amesbury, Mass., son of the late Arthur and Edna Sheehan. Paul's mother, Edna, at an early age passed away. Arthur later remarried, and Violet Sheehan became Paul's longtime stepmother.

Paul was a graduate of Amesbury (Mass.) High School. Most notably, he served 35 years as a court reporter for the state of New Hampshire from 1949 to 1984, being highly proficient with the stenotype machine in the courtroom. In 1941, his first job was with the federal government in the Boston area, covering hearings of the National Labor Relations Board, Interstate Commerce Commission, Federal Aviation Commission and the like.

In 1942, he worked with the U.S. Coast Guard in Boston covering courts martials. Later he was sent to the island of Greenland to report on conferences of ship captains involving convoys. He left the frozen north because he passed an examination and was sent to the U.S. Coast Guard Academy, New London, Conn., for officers training, from which he graduated on D-Day. For the remainder of World War II, he was an officer at sea. After the war, he joined an agency in Boston that reported on government hearings in the six New England states.

In 1947, he went to New Orleans to manage a reporting office that was responsible for covering NLRB hearings in the Gulf states. Next he was offered a job in the Pentagon with the Office of the Army Inspector General. Sheehan went to New York on smuggling cases, but before long got the opportunity he had wanted - to be a court reporter. He went to Dade County, Fla., to the circuit court, where he did all murder and rape cases. They were all mandatory death penalties at that time. After only seven months, he received a letter from Judge Stephen Wheeler of the N.H. Superior Court for a position as a court reporter there.

At the age of 30 in the Old Center Street location of St. Michael Church, he married Shirley Light, and they settled in Exeter to start a family.

Paul was a devoted longtime communicant of St. Michael Church, Exeter. He was a proud member of the Fraternity of Fatima, Apostolate of Fatima and president of the Blue Army. He was an avid golfer and was a member of the Exeter Country Club. Paul and Shirley were world travelers, having greatly enjoyed visiting nearly 20 countries.

Paul was predeceased by his wife on Aug. 7, 2005. He is survived by his daughter, Karen Walker of Exeter; his son, Kevin Sheehan of Portland, Conn.; four grandchildren; five great- grandchildren; and several cousins, nieces and nephews.


services: Calling hours will be held Tuesday, April 2, from 5 to 8 p.m. at Brewitt Funeral Home, 14 Pine St., Exeter. A Mass of Christian burial will be celebrated Wednesday, April 3, at 10 a.m. at St. Michael Church, Exeter. Burial with military honors will follow in Exeter Cemetery.

Flowers are acceptable, or donations may be made in his memory to the Kidney Foundation, 30 East 33rd St., New York City, NY 10016.

For more information, please visit

Funeral Home

Stockbridge Funeral Home - Exeter
141 Epping Road  Exeter, NH 03833
(603) 772-0400

Published in Union Leader on Mar. 29, 2013