John Sheehan, Sr. Obituary

John Joseph  Sheehan, Sr.
John Joseph Sheehan, Sr.

November 22, 1926 - October 10, 2018
Born in New London, CT
Resided in East Lyme, Connecticut


John J. Sheehan, Sr.

John J. (Jack) Sheehan, Sr., 91, of East Lyme passed away peacefully on Wednesday, October 10, 2018 at Lawrence & Memorial Hospital.

Jack was born on November 22, 1926 to Joseph and Gertrude (Finnegan) Sheehan. He attended New London schools and graduated from Bulkeley High School in 1945.

Upon graduating from high school, he served proudly in the United States Army during World War II. After returning from the service, he married Maureen Hopkins Sheehan on September 5, 1949. They recently celebrated their 69th wedding anniversary.

From an early age, Jack pursued his passion for music and in particular, the trombone and “big band” sound. He helped organize and played in the Hub Neilan Band, and played in many other local dance bands while growing up in the New London area. He also traveled across the country with the Randy Brooks Big Band Orchestra before studying instrumental music at UConn, graduating in 1952. For many years, he played with the Second Line Dixieland Jazz Band aboard the Mystic Seaport Steamship “Sabino”.

Jack was one of the most talented trombone players in New England, and pursued a career as the elementary instrumental music instructor for the New London Public Schools for 35 years. He also taught private lessons to hundreds of students, many of whom went on to become outstanding musicians themselves.

In 1964, Jack and Maureen built their dream home on Pattagansett Lake in East Lyme, where they raised four children. Their greatest joy was hosting their children and grandchildren for family gatherings, most notably the annual 4th of July lobster fests with fireworks from their beach.

Jack owned and operated the Jack Frost ice cream truck at the Old Lyme beaches in the 1970’s. He provided summer jobs for his children, many nieces and nephews and neighborhood friends. Always one to be frugal and with a quick wit, he would often joke years later with his former employees that they had been overpaid at one dollar per hour. During retirement, he and Maureen spent many enjoyable years wintering in Fort Myers, FL.

Surviving him are his wife and his children, Kathleen Constantine (Daniel Hamel) of Waterford, John Sheehan, Jr. (Diane) of Port St. Lucie, FL, Michael Sheehan (Susan) of Niantic, Eileen Doherty (James) of Rogers, AR, sister, Eleanor Fritz of Niantic, sister-in-law, Dolores Sheehan of New London, nine grandchildren, Kevin, Stacy, Jack, Stephen, Julia, Mark, Kelly, Sarah, Colleen, and two great-grandchildren, Oliver and Charles.

He was predeceased by his parents, brother, Robert (Red) Sheehan, and brother-in-law, William Fritz.

The family would like to thank Dr. Abel Donka, the nurses and medical staff on Floor 5.2 at Lawrence & Memorial Hospital, for their kindness and compassion in Jack’s final days.

Jack lived a very long and happy life on his terms, and he will be dearly missed.

Visitation will be from 9 to 10:30 AM on Friday, October 19, 2018, at the Thomas L. Neilan & Sons East Lyme Funeral Home, 48 Grand St., Niantic. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 11 A.M. in St. Matthias Church, Chesterfield Rd., East Lyme. Interment is private.

The family requests that in lieu of flowers, donations be made to the Cancer Research Institute.





Thomas L. Neilan & Sons East Lyme Funeral Home
48 Grand Street
Niantic, CT US 06357
Friday, October 19, 2018
9:00 AM - 10:30 AM
Mass of Christian Burial
St. Matthias Church
317 Chesterfield Rd
East Lyme, CT US 06333
Friday, October 19, 2018
11:00 AM

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