Francis J. Shea, a retired attorney who practiced in Chicopee Falls, MA from 1960 to 1998, died on January 21, 2021 at the age of 87. He was a longtime resident of Chicopee, MA and Ft Myers, FL, and resided in Wilbraham, MA at the time of his death. Frank was born on January 8,1934, the son of the late Atty. Walter M. Shea and Josephine Dowd Shea.
He was a cum laude graduate of the Cathedral High School class of 1951 and a cum laude graduate of the College of Holy Cross class of 1955. Frank earned his Doctor of Laws degree at Boston College in 1960. That same year he was admitted to the Massachusetts Bar and established a practice in Chicopee Falls. In 1962, he was admitted to practice in the United States District Courts. During his career as an attorney, he tried several cases before the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court. He was a member of the Hampden County and Massachusetts Bar Associations. Francis was an Assistant City Solicitor for the City of Chicopee under Mayor Edward Lysek from 1963-1965.
Upon graduation from Holy Cross, he was commissioned as Ensign in the United States Navy and served aboard the USS Agawam and the USS Hoist. He finished his tour of duty at the rank of Lieutenant JG.
During his business career, Frank owned and operated the Laporte, Shea and Borys Insurance Agency in Chicopee Falls, MA. The agency was founded by his late father Atty. Walter M. Shea in 1917 and carried on by his mother, Josephine Shea, after the passing of his father until Frank graduated from law school. The business is now owned and operated by his son Paul J. Shea.
During the course of Frank's career, he served as the Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Western Mass Credit Union and was the Cooperator of the Chicopee Falls Savings Bank and the Community Savings Bank. He participated in many civic activities and most notably was a founding Director of the Chicopee Chamber of Commerce and served as Director of the Pioneer Valley Red Cross 1982-1985; Corporator of Mercy Hospital; and Director of the Westover Metropolitan Development Corporation.
Frank was a 75 year member of the former St. Patrick's parish in Chicopee Falls. During his time at St. Patrick's he served as a Captain on the Annual Catholic Appeals and was the first Chairman of the Parish Council. He also served as a Lector and was one of the first Eucharistic Ministers in the parish in 1973. He later became a parishioner of St. Cecilia's Parish in Wilbraham, MA.
Frank was predeceased by his first wife Elizabeth Spaulding in 1988 and is survived by his second wife of 30 years Marcia Spaulding, son Paul J. Shea and his wife Jennifer L. Shea both of Longmeadow, MA and two grandchildren Keri E. Shea and Robert F. Shea of Philadelphia, PA. In addition, he leaves his brother Walter M. Shea of Ventura, CA. Frank will be remembered as a kind and charitable person who was deeply devoted to his faith and family.
A Memorial Mass to celebrate Frank’s Life will be held on Tuesday June 8, 2021 at 11:00 AM in St. Cecilia Church, 42 Main St., Wilbraham. Burial will be held privately for the family. Wilbraham Funeral Home is in charge of the arrangements. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Lorraine’s Soup Kitchen and Pantry, 170 Pendexter Ave., Chicopee, MA 01013.
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