Lucky Joe -Buzzy+ William Shea Jr. was born on Aug. 15, 1931, in Norwich, Conn., and passed peacefully on April 24, 2006, at home, surrounded by his loving children and a glowing fire. In 1961, Joe and his wife, Philomena, moved from their residence in Brandon, Vt., to begin teaching careers in California. After 44 years as a resident in Victorville, having taught at Victor Valley High School from 1962 to 1998, and touching the lives of countless students and peers, Joe left this world to reunited with his late wife, Phil, in heaven, and their spirits continue to influence all who knew them. Joe attended Norwich Free Academy before serving in the U.S. Marine Corps during the Korean War. He then went on to continue his education at the Citadel in South Carolina. He was extremely educated in politics and world views and had a tremendous understanding of right and wrong. He has passed this knowledge and that of numerous other life lessons on to his six children, who will miss him dearly, while feeling incredibly grateful to have had such incredible, inspirational parental figures. A true Irishman, Joe was the host of countless St. Patrick+s Day celebrations, and was Notre Dame football+s number one fan. His devotion to the things important to him was one of his most admirable qualities, and he will live on through his passions. Joseph was preceded in death by his wife, Philomena, and his parents, as well as his dogs Bingo, Toby and Spreckles. A loving brother, father and grandfather, Joe is survived by his sister, Anne and brother, Frank of Norwich, Conn.; and children, Denis Shea of Port Hueneme, Dawn Guerrero of San Clemente, Sean Shea of Victorville, Kerry Shea of San Diego, Patrice Cass of Santa Clarita and Erin Shea of Los Angeles. He is also survived by his sons-in-law, Edward Cass and Leo Guerrero; and his spirit lives on in his grandchildren, Vanessa, Damian and Whitney Lopez and Kasey and Shannon Cass. Joe is honored daily by the family dog, Riley, who has claimed Joe+s signature chair and has taken on the role of man of the house. One of the things Joe will most be remembered for his philosophy, -Don+t take life too seriously.+ His jovial spirit, sparkling blue eyes, infectious laugh, Irish pride, intelligent wit and bright smile shine down on us like sunlight and will forevermore. Those who had the chance to know him are as lucky as leprechauns. A rosary will be held at 11:30 a.m. May 5 at St. Joan of Arc Catholic Church, with a memorial Mass immediately following at noon. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in Joseph+s name to Norwich Free Academy Foundation, 321 Broadway, Norwich, CT 06360 or the Visiting Nurses+ Association, 241-3564. Victor Valley Mortuary is handling arrangements.
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