Joan Frederick (Clews) Shea, age 86, of Wilmington, MA, formerly of Farmington, ME, and Sterling, MA, passed away on April 28, 2023.
Joan was born on July 29, 1936, in Newton, MA. She was the cherished daughter of the late Frederick H. Clews and Eunice Fairbanks (Howlett) Clews-Bradley, and the devoted wife of the late Ronald L. Shea, Sr., who passed away one month ago. Ron and Joan’s friendship, love, and devotion spanned nearly 60 years. Joan was also a loyal and much-loved sister, mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother.
Joan was always a hard worker with a sharp wit and intelligence and a person who never had patience for fools. A caring heart who strove to make a better place for her family. As a child, Joan was the oldest of nine siblings whom she helped care for and who all looked up to her. She was especially close with her Aunt Marion of Needham, MA, who she visited often throughout her life. Joan was later the dedicated mother of eight children, whom she loved deeply throughout the highs and lows of their lives. She spoke with pride of the accomplishments of her family, as well as her own. This included the raising of her children and later earning her GED in her forties and being the first woman to take out a loan at her bank legally without her husband's permission (a law that had only changed in the 1970s).
In her spare time, for many years, Joan enjoyed spending time with her family. She also enjoyed traveling both near and far, camping, puttering in her garden, crocheting, reading her morning paper with a hot cup of black coffee, and pouring over her various subscriptions to National Geographic, Archaeology, and the Smithsonian. Throughout her life she also had one, two, and sometimes three kitties who she spoiled and, inevitably, found the occasional stray to feed.
Joan was the beloved wife of the late Ronald L. Shea, Sr., devoted mother of Robert Strange & his wife, Roswitha, of West Grove, PA; Michael Strange & dear friend, Denise Caso, of VA; Timothy Strange & dear friend, Sue Strange, of FL; Laura Hadley & her companion, Tom Keeler, of Westford, MA; Ronald L. Shea, Jr., & his wife, Donna, of Weymouth, MA; Sean Shea & his wife, Jessica, of Portsmouth, RI; as well as the late Karen Modica and the late Katherine Rector. Joan was the loving “Nana” of Kerri Phillips and her husband, Jeremy, of Wilmington, Harley Joan of Maine, Mark, Skylar, Emmaleigh, Ethan, Hayden, Jeremy, Megan, Ariel, Christiana, Michael, Jr., Christopher, Natalie, and the late Oliver; “Great-Grammy” for many, including Samuel, Alden, Adrian, Emmaleigh, Sebastian, Aurelia, and Melody; and dear sister of Frederick "Buddy" Clews, Jr., Sandra Clews, Linda Withington, Dawn Hall, Pamela Mojica, as well as the late William "Billy" Clews, the late Marion Clews, and the late Patricia Hernandez. Joan was also survived by many loving nieces and nephews.
Family and friends will gather for Visitation at the Nichols Funeral Home, 187 Middlesex Ave., (Rte. 62), Wilmington on Monday, May 8th from 3:00-5:00 p.m. immediately followed by a Funeral Service at 5:00 p.m. Interment will take place at Massachusetts National Cemetery, Connery Ave., Bourne on Tuesday, May 9th at 12:30 p.m.
Memorial donations in Joan’s name may be made to the MSPCA at Nevins Farm, 400 Broadway, Methuen, MA 01844.