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Robert Francis Shea

Robert Francis Shea Obituary
Robert Francis Shea "Bob", 90, of Hingham, Mass., formerly of Pawcatuck, Conn., passed away on Jan. 27, 2015 after a long battle with Parkinson's Disease.
Bob was born in Mystic, Conn. on Sept 11, 1924, the son of Sebastian and Marguerite Shea. He is survived by the love of his life, A. Elaine Cox Shea, whom he married on Sept. 21, 1946. They celebrated 68 happy years of marriage in 2014.
Bob leaves his three siblings - Charles Shea and his wife Joan, and Marga Higgins of Pawcatuck, Conn. and Betty Urso and husband Nat of Westerly, R.I. He is survived by his four children - Robert Shea, Jr. of Westerly, R.I., Gail Shea Grainger and her husband John of Chesterfield, N.H., LTC (Ret) Karen E. Shea of New Port Richey, Fla., and Leanne Shea Jenkins and her husband Skip, of Hingham, Mass. Six grandchildren, Kerry Shea Abbott, John C. Grainger, Kelly H. McManus, and Emmett, Patrick and Sam Jenkins, as well as four great-grandchildren.
Bob attended St Michael's School and graduated from Stonington (Conn.) High School. He played football, but when they brought back a basketball team in 1939, he tried out for the team. The first day of tryouts was the first day that Bob ever held a basketball. Bob went on to become a star player and was inducted into the Stonington High School Athletic Hall of Fame in 2008.
Bob went on to Rhode Island State College (URI), graduating in 1946. He had an outstanding basketball career while there playing for the legendary coach Frank Keaney, who introduced the concept of the fast break to basketball. Bob was co-captain of the 1946 R.I. team that played for the NIT championship against Kentucky. While at Rhode Island, Bob was president of the senior honor society, and treasurer of his fraternity, Theta Chi. Bob was inducted into the University of Rhode Island Athletic Hall of Fame in 1979.
After graduating from Rhode Island Bob went on to play basketball for the Providence Steam Rollers, in the first year of what would become the NBA. The Steam Rollers were one of the original 14 teams of the new Pro league. Bob scored the first basket for the Steam Rollers, and the first basket scored against the Boston Celtics.
Bob went on to receive a Masters degree from URI, and spent the rest of his career as a Social Studies teacher and supervisor at Stonington(Conn.) High School, retiring after 35 years in 1984.
Bob's passion for sports didn't end with basketball, he went on to play golf for many years. He was club champion of Elmridge CC in 1971, and also scored three holes in one.
Relatives and friends are respectfully invited to attend a Funeral Mass in St.Paul's Church 147 North Street, Hingham on Friday, Feb. 6, at 10 a.m. Private burial at a later date. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Bob's honor to St. Michael's Church, 60 Liberty Street, Pawcatuck, CT 06379-1695, or the American Parkinson's Disease Association, 135 Parkinson Avenue, Staten Island, New York. 10305 http://www.apdaparkinson.org/ways-to-donate/
Published in The Westerly Sun from Jan. 31 to Feb. 21, 2015
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