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Irene Shea

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Irene Shea Obituary
Irene C. (Fahey) Shea

WORCESTER - Irene Catherine (Fahey) Shea died at her home on May 24, 2018 after a long illness.

She grew up in Melrose, Massachusetts, the first of two children of William and Irene Fahey. After high school, she graduated from Trinity College in Washington D.C. in 1942.

She was predeceased by her husband of nearly 70 years, William T. Shea, and by her younger sister Elizabeth (Fahey) Cuenin.

She is survived by their seven children: Irene McGee and her husband Al of The Villages, FL; Timothy Shea and his wife Ruth of Bowie, Md.; Kathleen Egan and her husband Daniel of Newton, MA; Peter Shea and his wife Marie of Whitinsville; Rachael Shea of Worcester; Rosemary Kelleher and her husband James of Medford, N.J.; and Priscilla Shea, D.C., and her husband Russell Samara of Yarmouth, ME as well as 19 grandchildren and 8 great-grandchildren.

Irene enjoyed swimming, field hockey and tennis as a young woman and progressed to yoga and fitness classes in her later years. She was a very active member of her community having been President of the Guild of Our Lady of Providence (a volunteer recruiter and scheduler for assistants and guides for St. Vincent Hospital as well as fund raiser through activities such as fashion shows), a volunteer for organizations such as Marillac Manor and PTA's, a host for a formal Tea Ceremony for visiting Japanese women in the 1960s and a local alumnae representative for Trinity College. For a time she managed the Worcester Players Group which produced plays to generate proceeds for charity.

She was a voracious reader whose tastes were well known by the local librarians at both the Worcester Public Library and the Rye, N.H. Public Library.

After raising her children, Irene was one of the original organizers of WAARC (Worcester Area Association for Retarded Children, now called Seven Hills Foundation) serving as the first Coordinator of Respite Care Service and later assistant to the Director. In these roles she developed and coordinated programs to support families with children with special needs. She retired from WAARC in 1995.

She and Bill met at Hampton Beach New Hampshire and they were longtime summer residents at their home in nearby Rye Beach. She was a devoted member of St. Joan of Arc Parish.

Calling hours are Sunday May 27 from 4 to 7 PM at Athy Memorial Home, 111 Lancaster St., Worcester. Mass of Christian burial will be at 10 AM on Monday May 28 in St. Joan of Arc Church, 570 Lincoln St., Worcester. Burial at St. John's Cemetery will be on Tuesday at 10 AM.
Published in Worcester Telegram & Gazette from May 24 to May 27, 2018
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