Obituary of Peter Paul Shea
Peter Paul Shea (Paul) was born in Lauragh, Co Kerry in 1928 to Michael and Nora O’Shea. He was the fifth of six children and is predeceased by all of his siblings: Maureen, Nora, John Joe, Liam and Michael. As a child, Paul learned to be a blacksmith, a farmer, a fisherman, and was asked to train to be a schoolteacher. Instead, he learned to drive and became one of the first drivers in Kenmare. He spent his teen years driving the citizens of Lauragh and Kenmare to all the places they needed to be. He relished his work because he was involved with everything and everyone. He loved his time in Ireland and he was beloved by all.
Paul moved to England in his early twenties to become an ironworker. This job entailed walking unharnessed across beams several hundred feet in the air. He was fearless and excelled at being a “spiderman.” He drove a Vincent motorcycle and was on top of the world figuratively and literally.
In his thirties he decided to move to America where all of his aunts and cousins lived. He met Elizabeth (Betty) Shea on the streets of the Bronx and immediately said to his friend that he was going to marry her. And he did, in May 1960.
Paul became a New York City bus driver and he and Betty had three children: Paul, Michael, and PaddiAnn. Paul was a darts champion of the Bronx and won many a turkey with his dart prowess. In addition to being a city bus driver, he became a superintendent of a building in Kingsbridge and then again in Woodlawn. He always needed to be busy and he could fix anything. He had a strong work ethic and enjoyed being able to easily support his family. He and Betty, along with their son Michael, opened a small luncheonette for a few years, just to add to his multitude of jobs.
Despite working so hard, he enjoyed taking his family to the Catskill Mountains for yearly vacations and was always very present in his children’s lives. As his children became adults, he retired as a bus driver and became a superintendent of a building in Manhattan where he befriended celebrities, movie stars, famous designers and philanthropists. His tenants admired and loved him but he had to retire to heroically care for Betty who was seriously ill for almost a decade before she passed.
Paul was an avid card player and played the Irish card game 25 every evening at the Horseshoe Club in Woodlawn. He also was an avid golfer for many years and played every weekday morning. Until he turned 90, he walked everyday for three miles and rode a stationary bike while he watched sports on television. He was a fanatical Yankees, Giants, and Rangers fan. He knew everything there was to know about these teams and sports in general.
Paul loved to be surrounded by his children Paul (Maureen), Michael (Kim) and PaddiAnn (Gerard) but he especially enjoyed his seven grandchildren: Mikey, Sara, Kaleigh, Chrissy, Shea, Liam, and Tess and his two great grandchildren: Sofia and Avery. His son Paul Jr. sadly predeceased him in January 2014. Despite much heartache, Paul lived a very full life and was so loved by friends and family. He met his new best friend Vera Quinn in the twilight of his life and he drove to see her everyday until he was 93 and a half. They shared a lovely friendship and she made the last years of his life so special.
His 90th birthday party was filled with friends, family, and nieces and nephews from all over Europe as he danced the night away until 2:00 am. He was a workhorse who would do anything for his family and neighbors. He had a huge vegetable garden he tended pretty much until he died. He was a giant of a man and a gentle soul who loved to laugh, to tell great stories, and to be with people. He will be missed by many.
Viewing will be held on Thursday, June 30, 2022 from 3:00 - 5:00 and 7:00 - 9:00 P.M. in Hodder Farenga Funeral Home, 899 McLean Avenue, Yonkers, NY 10704
Mass of Christian Burial will be held on Friday, July 1, 2022 at 9:30 A.M. in St. Barnabas Church, Bronx NY
Interment to follow in Gate of Heaven Cemetery, Hawthorne, NY