Obituaries » Thomas Francis "Tom" Shea

Thomas Francis "Tom" Shea

September 26, 1933 - September 5, 2023

Burial Date September 12, 2023

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Niantic – Thomas Francis “Tom” Shea was born Sept. 26, 1933, in Springfield, Mass., to the late Patrick and Bridget (Kennedy) Shea. His parents emigrated to the United States from Ireland, and settled in the Hungry Hill section of Chicopee Falls. His Catholic faith and Irish heritage were a great source of pride to him. He entered eternal life Sept. 5, 2023.

Tom earned his bachelor’s degree from Elms College in Chicopee, as a part-time student while working full time as a linotype operator at a local newspaper. He later earned his master’s degree at the University of Hartford.

Tom met his wife Beth while at the Elms and they later relocated to the Connecticut shoreline and settled in Old Saybrook, in the mid-1960s. He taught both fifth and sixth grades in the Old Saybrook School System and retired in 1995 after 38 years. He was never averse to hard work, always holding a second job in addition to teaching. His jobs included being a Constable at Point O’ Woods, delivering newspapers and waiting tables at the Chart House in Chester where he thrived for 16 years, mostly due to his outgoing personality and great smile. In his retirement, he took up woodworking, playing the accordion and teaching English as a second language as a volunteer.

In addition to his parents, he is predeceased by his wife Elizabeth (Conroy); and his sister Elizabeth Coleman. Tom leaves behind his four children: Meg (Dave) of Hampton, N.H., Maura (Shawn) of Old Saybrook, Timothy (Amy) of Williston, Vt., and Kathleen of Hanover, N.H. He also leaves behind his 11 grandchildren: Colin, Nicholas, Brendan, Sarah, Molly, Kerry, Nolan, Shea, Declan, Anna and Quinlan: two great-grandchildren; his sister-in-law Patricia Conroy; and his very special friend and companion Kathryn.

Calling hours will be from 4 to 7 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 12, at Swan Funeral Home, 1224 Boston Post Road, Old Saybrook. A funeral Mass will be celebrated at 11 a.m. Wednesday Sept. 13, at Saint John’s R.C. Church, 161 Main Street, Old Saybrook, with a reception to follow. Burial will be private and at the convenience of the family. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospitalhttps://www.stjude.org.


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