Imelda passed away peacefully in hospice on March 24, 2020. Though confined by quarantine, she was in contact with her family by video chat and telephone up until the evening before her passing.
She was the widow of the late James N. Shea, who passed away in August, 2015. She missed him dearly.
Imelda spent her final months before hospice at the home of her late brother C. Vincent Fay in Cranston with her niece and caregiver Moira E. Fay.
Daughter of the late Michael Charles Fay and the late Mary Ellen McGorman of Ballymena, Ireland. Sister of M. Madeline McGrath, she was predeceased by her siblings: the late Reverend John Patrick "Jack" Fay, C. Vincent Fay, Michael Anthony Fay, and her sister, Sheila Sullivan. She leaves her sons: Terrence B. Shea and Richard A. Shea and her grandchildren, Miranda, Fionna, Ryan and Abby Shea.
Born in Providence in 1925 and raised during the Great Depression to Irish immigrants, she grew up in the West End, was a parishioner at St Mary's on Broadway and a student at St. Mary’s Academy.
Imelda was fond of recalling her days working at Gibson’s in Downtown Providence during the war years and later as an operator for New England Telephone. She also attended St. Joseph Hospital School of Nursing for some time.
Imelda married James Nicholas Shea in 1955 and adopted their sons Richard and Terry in 1967 and 1970, respectively.
Imelda loved music, often reminiscing about attending the Newport Jazz Festival in the 1950s and seeing the likes of Frank Sinatra perform Downtown. On Saturdays, the sound of Irish music filled the air from WBZ in Boston, but on any given day, she would enjoy everything from Dave Brubeck to The Eagles to AC/DC. Music was what mattered to her, not where it came from. She always kept an open house policy; family and friends alike enjoyed her hospitality and good cheer. Up until her last days, she loved watching baseball, enjoying classic Red Sox reruns when live games weren’t available.
“Momo”, as she was known, had a sharp wit and was known for her frank, but honest, observations. One of her final quips was “yesterday is too late,” a perfect statement for our times. She will be sorely missed.
The funeral and burial will be private.
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