William Joseph Shea

April 6, 1928 ~ April 21, 2022 (age 94)


William Joseph Shea of Fairfield passed away peacefully on April 21. He was born in Bridgeport on April 6, 1928, the son of the late William and Nora O’Reilly Shea.

Bill is survived by his loving wife, Elizabeth (Bette) McCabe Shea of Fairfield; he was predeceased by his wife of 38 years, Tilly. Bill is also survived by his children Karen (Rich) Gale, Robin Shea, and Bill (Mary) Shea and 7 grandchildren and 9 great-grandchildren

Bill worked as a train conductor, retiring from Metro-North after 46 years of service. The railroad was good to Bill in many ways. Bill enjoyed seeing his regular passengers each day and they him. He even met his loving wife, Bette, a regular commuter, in one of his train cars. He knew NYC so well that he would give informal tours of the landmarks during his layovers at Grand Central Terminal. He was a great poker player. He loved water skiing at Jennings Beach, and lying in the sun in his chaise lounge.

Like so many of his generation who grew up in the Depression, he faced difficulties, like the loss of his father at age 5, and his one sibling at age 16. He dropped out of high school and worked to support his mother. He educated himself by being an avid reader, and with knowledge and empathy, always advocated for the poor and the underdog. He was a kind man and demonstrated this through service to others. He was always fixing something for someone. He was a lifelong friend of duct tape and WD-40.

Bill was a quick wit and a passionate storyteller who could captivate his audience and leave them laughing.  And when the end of his life was near, he said he felt fortunate and blessed for the life he had. And we feel blessed and fortunate too, for having known him.

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of William, please visit our floral store.


Mass of Christian Burial
April 27, 2022

10:00 AM
St. Thomas Aquinas Church (Fairfield)

© 2022 Spear Miller Funeral Home. All Rights Reserved. Funeral Home website by CFS & TA | Terms of Use | Privacy Policy | Accessibility