WORCESTER, Mass. – Sister Michael Joanne Shea, 81, a member of the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur for 58 years, died on Feb. 22, 2011, at Notre Dame Long Term Care Center.
She was born on June 20, 1929, in Chicopee Falls, Mass., the daughter of John Francis Shea and Ellen Rose (Hederman) Shea. She graduated from Holy Name High School and Our Lady of the Elms College, both in Chicopee, and earned a Master of Arts degree from Fairfield University.
She entered the Sisters of Notre Dame after teaching for a year in a Chicopee public school. After making her vows, she taught at Holy Name and then taught and was an administrator at St. Thomas Aquinas High School in New Britain. She also served on the leadership team of the Connecti-cut province of her community for nine years.
After studying gerontology at the University of Massachusetts, she ministered to the elderly at St. Mary Home in West Hartford, St. Christopher Parish in East Hart-ford and West Mass Elder Care in Holyoke, Mass. After retiring, she worked in the province finance office.
Sister Michael Joanne was predeceased by her parents and her brother, James L. Shea. She leaves a sister-in-law, nephews, grandnieces, a grandnephew and her community.
A Mass of Christian Burial was celebrated on Feb. 25 at St. Isaac Jogues Church in East Hartford. Interment was in Mount St. Bene-dict Cemetery in Bloomfield
Contributions may be made in her memory to the Sisters of Notre Dame, 468 Poquonock Ave., Windsor, CT 06095.