Joseph Sheedy

Joseph D. Sheedy Jr.

March 21, 1934 - December 12, 2020
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Joseph D. Sheedy, Jr., 86, a longtime resident of Chelmsford, died peacefully on Saturday, December 12, 2020 at Lowell General Hospital, Lowell, of complications from a recent heart attack. He was the husband of Susan (Johnston) Sheedy with whom he shared 39 years of marriage.

He was born on March 21, 1934 in San Francisco, CA, and was a son of the late Joseph D., Sr., and Josephine A (Olsen) Sheedy.

Joe grew up in San Francisco and graduated from George Washington High School. He earned a BS degree in chemistry from San Jose State University and worked in that field for many years, living in California and Georgia. The family moved to Chelmsford in the early 70’s when Joe went to work at Instrumentation Labs as a sales rep for medical equipment. While working at IL he earned an MBA from Babson College. He later worked as an executive recruiter and had his own business, Marketing Resources. For the past several years, Joe had been attending classes at the University of Massachusetts in Lowell and had begun the final course toward a BS degree in Psychology and Criminology when he became ill. He was very proud of his academic achievements and loved learning. Joe was a member of the Learning in Retirement Association and had been a friend of Bill W for over 40 years. Joe enjoyed his longtime membership in the Lowell Camera Club. He was a member of First Religious Society, Unitarian in Carlisle where he sang in the choir and had been a member of the finance committee. He also was a member of First Parish Unitarian Universalist Church of Chelmsford where he also sang in the choir and served as treasurer for many years and was instrumental in computerizing the records. Joe loved to travel and had many opportunities when Sue was in the travel business. They took many cruises in Europe, Asia, the Caribbean, and the Panama Canal. He especially enjoyed visiting Africa, Morocco and Egypt. More recently Joe and Sue traveled to China and Vietnam. Joe also traveled to South and Central America for his job.

In addition to his wife, Joe leaves his children; Joseph Sheedy of Fall River and granddaughters, Meaghan and Alison Sheedy; Carolyn Donalson and her husband, Eric of Weslaco, TX and grandsons Darnell and Quentin Donalson; James Sheedy and his wife, Debby of Crestview, FL and granddaughter, Katelyn Sheedy; his stepdaughter, Amy Fitzgerald Dunton and her partner, Brian Clark of Phoenix, AZ and her children, Samantha, Dana, and Casey Worthen and Hunter Gagnon. He also leaves his sister, Jean Kimball and her husband, Peter, of Millbrae, CA. and their children Andy, Eric, and Kathy. He also had four great grandchildren.

He was predeceased by his brother, Jack Sheedy, and his former wife, Barbara Sheedy Desmarais.

Due to gathering limitations Funeral Services will be held privately in the BLAKE CHELMSFORD FUNERAL HOME, 24 Worthen St., CHELMSFORD. You are kindly invited to view Joe’s service live on Friday, December 18, 2020 at 12:00 noon. Please click on the blue LIVESTREAM tab below his obituary to view. Memorial donations may be made in Joe’s name to the Dean’s Scholarship for Continuing Studies at UMass Lowell, c/o the Office of University Advancement, 45 Lawrence Dr., Lowell, MA 01854. Please make check payable to UMass Lowell, including the name of the fund on the memo line.

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Service Details

Due to gathering limitations, Funeral Services will be held privately. You are kindly invited to view Joe's service live on Friday, December 18, 2020 at 12:00 noon. Please click on the livestream tab below his obituary.


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Doug Snow

Posted at 04:58pm
Joe was such a nice guy. At First Parish, he was one of the first people to welcome me when we first moved to Chelmsford in 1997. I enjoyed his sense of humor and just chatting with him during coffee hour and at other church events. Sue, I am so sorry for your loss.

Barbara and Martin Schwartz

Posted at 05:44am
With caring thoughts,
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Kathleen Sacco

Posted at 02:03pm
Remember profound conversations with Joe about how to address violence and cruelty in the world. And I remember singing in the choir along with Joe. So much joy.

Leslie Yauckoes

Posted at 12:37pm
I so enjoyed the lovely service for Joe today. I remember him fondly from the days when we were both on the Standing Committee at First Parish. He was a tireless steward for the parish and took on the tough job of treasurer for several. My heart goes out to the family and especially to Sue. May your memories sustain you at this difficult time.

Richard Siegel

Posted at 12:16pm
I only had the chance to get to know Joe briefly this Fall when he became a student in my undergraduate seminar in Addictions. Even with such brief contact, I could easily see and appreciate his intelligence and his curiosity. He is a perfect example of how education is a lifelong journey.

Susan Sheedy Posted at 09:37am

Joe was enjoying the challenges of your Addictions class. He was so disappointed when he had to withdraw, one course shy of his next degree. Thank you.

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