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Sunday, October 29, 2023
3:00 - 6:00pm (Eastern time)
Monday, October 30, 2023
10:00 - 11:00am (Eastern time)
Barbara A (Kirby) Shea, age 91, passed away on Monday, October 23, 2023, at Good Samaritan Medical Center in Brockton, Massachusetts. Born in Clinton, Massachusetts on June 10, 1932, she was the daughter of the late Thomas E. and Mary E. (Mawhinney) Kirby. Beloved sister of the late June Conley Eagan (Ted Conley, Tom Eagan) and the late Elaine Vitone (John). Barbara was raised in Clinton, where she graduated from Clinton High School with the Class of 1949. Following her graduation, Barbara enrolled in The Massachusetts General Hospital's School of Nursing. She completed her training in 1953, earning the title of Registered Nurse. Barbara took her first assignment as a nurse with Mass General, making her home with some friends in the city, and later transferred to Mount Auburn Hospital in Cambridge.
Barbara went on to make her home in the quiet suburban town of Walpole, where she took on the role of a homemaker, raising and caring for her six children. As her kids grew up, Barbara returned to her nursing career, taking a position with Pondville Hospital in Norfolk and Sharon Manor Nursing Home. After several years working at Pondville, Barbara saw the opportunity to serve her community with the Walpole School Department as a school nurse. She spent many years at the Fisher and Stone Elementary Schools, in addition to spending time at Johnson Middle School, before taking the nurse's position at Walpole High School. While serving as a school nurse Monday through Friday, Barbara also served as a nurse at the Norwood Nursing and Retirement Home on the weekend, caring for her patients with the same devotion and compassion that she offered to her students. In her retirement, Barbara made her home in Franklin, Massachusetts, where she became active with the Council on Aging, serving as a board member for many years. More recently, in 2007, Barbara settled in East Walpole to live with her daughter Cindy and her family.
When she wasn't hard at work, Barbara enjoyed spending some quiet time at home. She was a whiz with knitting needles, working on many projects to give away to family and friends. As an avid reader, Barbara always had a book close by, frequenting the Walpole Public Library. No one ever left her home hungry, as Barbara loved cooking and baking meals and desserts for her family to enjoy. At the end of a long day, for Barbara, there was nothing better than relaxing on her couch, watching Wheel of Fortune, Jeopardy, or an old classic western.
While her quiet time was important, so was staying physically fit. Barbara joined her friends, the Mermaids, at the Massachusetts Hospital School in Canton for water aerobics classes, enjoying the water and the comradery. She loved the aerobics course so much that during the pandemic, Barbara was thrilled when her daughter’s family decided to build a pool in their backyard, so she could continue practicing her movements and complete her workouts.
Most of all, Barbara was devoted to her family, treasuring every moment she spent with those she loved. She was delighted to earn the title "Nana," attending her grandchildren’s events and functions.
Loving mother of Maryellen Shea of Franklin, Dennis A. Shea of Florida, William C. Shea of Hadley, Cynthia A. Hughes and her husband, Thomas, of East Walpole, Alison M. Hopkins of California, and the late Thomas K. Shea,
Mother-in-law of Nydia Shea of West Roxbury.
Cherished Nana of Brian, Eric, Amelia, Ian, Matthew, Luke, Nicholas, Christopher, and Brenna; and great grandmother to nine great grandchildren.
Also survived by many loving nieces and nephews.
Relatives and friends are kindly invited to attend Barbara's Life Celebration on Sunday, October 29th from 3:00pm to 6:00pm in the James H. Delaney & Son Funeral Home, 48 Common Street, Walpole.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated in Saint Jude's Church, 86 Main Street, Norfolk on Monday, October 30th, at 10:00am. A reception will follow at Conrad’s Restaurant in Walpole starting at 11:30am. Interment will be private in Saint John’s Cemetery in Lancaster at a later date.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations in Barbara's name may be made to Saint Jude Children's Research Hospital, 501 St. Jude Place, Memphis, TN 38105, or the Walpole Food Pantry, P.O. Box 43, Walpole, MA 02081.