Valerie M. Shea, 89

Jan 10, 2019 by

Published January 11, 2019

MELROSE — Valerie M. Shea, 89, passed away peacefully at home on the morning on December 31, 2018.  

Valerie was born January 12, 1929, to Mary (McIssac) and Robert Edgar (Lt. Colonel retired US Army). She grew up in Boston attending a Catholic grammar school and graduated from St. Patricks High School in Roslindale. She loved to reminisce of her times growing up in Boston, skating at the Public Garden with her sister, riding the swan boats, going to dances or enjoying Revere Beach in the summer with friends.

Valerie made many life long friends from both the old “West End” and North End of Boston. She met her husband, Donald Shea at a dance, but their affection would have to wait until Don spent a summer in Canada playing for the Dodgers farm team. They were married on November 29, 1952, at St. Joseph’s church in Boston. They resided in Melrose for many years. Valerie was married for 58 years until Don’s death in 2010.  

Together they had four children, Judith, Sandra, James and Joanne. She dedicated her life to her children and her husband, her church and various charities, in particular Children’s International and Operation Smile. She endeavored to provide comfort and love to her sister Virginia’s seven children, who had lost their mother when they were very young.  

Valerie loved spending time at their cottage on Cape Cod, and she cherished times spent with her grandchildren, nieces and nephews. She also enjoyed trips to Europe and even a trip to Singapore with her late husband and brother.

She is proceeded in death by her beloved son James in 2009, husband Donald in 2010, and her sister Virginia and brother Lawrence. She is survived by her children and spouses, Judith and Joseph Flynn, Sandra and Alan Bednowitz, Wendy Shea, Joanne and John Morton as well as her seven cherished grandchildren, Sarah and Jason Bednowitz, Zachary and Olivia Shea, Hannah, Will and Chatham Morton and nieces and nephews.

Visitation was held at the Gately Funeral Home, 79 W. Foster St. Melrose on Friday, January 4. Funeral procession was from the Gately Funeral Home on Saturday January 5, followed by a Mass of Christian Burial at St. Mary’s Church, 9 Herbert St. Melrose. Burial at St. Joseph Cemetery in West Roxbury. Relatives and friends were respectfully invited to attend.

In lieu of flowers, you may make a charitable donation in honor of Valerie to either: Children’s International at or Operation Smile at To send a message of condolence please visit

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