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Valerie M. (Edgar) Shea
  • In lieu of flowers, the Shea family suggests memorial contributions be made to:)
  • Operation Smile

Pause Looking Back by Bruce H. Zimmerman (ASCAP)
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Thank you for your support during this difficult time. Please enhance this tribute to Valerie by adding your memories..


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Gately Funeral Home

79 West Foster Street
Melrose, MA 02176
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Memories & Candles

“Dear Judy, Sandy and Joanne. I am so sorry for the loss of your mother. I hope you find some comfort in her no longer needing to struggle or to...Read More »
1 of 3 | Posted by: Mary Ellen Flynn - Oro Valley, AZ

“Jason and Family,So very sorry to hear of your beloved Grandmother's passing.She was such a lovely person. ”
2 of 3 | Posted by: Brendan Afework - Saugus, MA

“The Gately Family and Staff wish to express our sincere sympathy to you. It is our hope that we may be able to make a difficult time more bearable....Read More »
3 of 3 | Posted by: John W. Gately, John H. Gately & Fred Sprague

Valerie M. Shea passed away peacefully at home on the morning on December 31,

Valerie was born in MA, January 12, 1929, to Mary (McIssac) and Robert Edgar (Lt.
Colonel retired US Army). She grew up in Boston attending a Catholic grammar school
and graduated from St. Patricks High School in Roslindale. She loved to reminisce of
her times growing up in Boston, skating at the Public Garden with her sister, riding the
swan boats, going to dances or enjoying Revere Beach in the summer with friends.
Valerie made many life long friends from both the old "West End" and North End of

She met her husband, Donald Shea at a dance, but their affection would have to wait
until Don spent a summer in Canada playing for the Dodgers farm team. They were
married on November 29, 1952, at St. Joseph's church in Boston. They resided in
Melrose for many years. Valerie was married for 58 years until Don's death in 2010.

Together they had four children, Judith, Sandra, James and Joanne. She dedicated her
life to her children and her husband, her church and various charities, in particular
Children's International and Operation Smile. She endeavored to provided comfort and
love to her sister Virginia's seven children, who had lost their mother when they were
very young.

Valerie loved spending time at their cottage on Cape Cod, and she cherished times
spent with her grandchildren, nieces and nephews. She also enjoyed trips to Europe
and even a trip to Singapore with her late husband and brother. She is proceeded in
death by her beloved son James in 2009, husband Donald in 2010, and her sister
Virginia and brother Lawrence.

She is survived by her children and spouses, Judith and Joseph Flynn, Sandra and Alan
Bednowitz, Wendy Shea, Joanne and John Morton as well as her seven cherished
grandchildren, Sarah and Jason Bednowitz, Zachary and Olivia Shea, Hannah, Will
and Chatham Morton and nieces and nephews.

Visitation will be held at the Gately Funeral Home, 79 W. Foster St. Melrose on Friday, January 4, 2019 from 4:00-8:00PM. Funeral procession from the Gately Funeral Home on Saturday Morning January 5th at 9:00AM, followed by a Mass of Christian Burial at St. Mary's Church, 9 Herbert St. Melrose at 10:00AM. Burial at St. Joseph Cemetery in West Roxbury. Relatives and friends are respectfully invited to attend. In lieu of flowers you may make a charitable donation in honor of Valerie to either: Children's International at or Operation Smile at To send a message of condolence please visit