Following 101 years of love, laughter, and inspiration, the last of the beautiful Shea sisters of Malden, Pauline (Polly), entered eternal life on February 28, 2022. She joined her beloved sisters Mary Richmond and Barbara Driscoll as well as brother Peter, along with their parents Honora (Regan) and John J. Shea.
Strong-willed, smart, and sassy with a huge heart and boundless energy, Polly was a force. She seized each day with determination and enthusiasm, always dressed with flair, and ensured that everyone she met left her presence feeling better than before their encounter. Polly was a consummate storyteller and the heart and soul of every social gathering she attended (and she never declined an invitation). She spoiled everyone around her, treating family, friends, and those she hadn’t quite yet met (there were no strangers) to coffee at Melrose’s former Breads ‘n’ Bits of Ireland and D’Amici’s and so much more. She modeled self-care, calling it “Be Good to Polly Day” and wanted everyone around her to do the same for themselves. Her zest for life, service to others, wit, and wisdom were experienced by so many and beloved by all. There was only one Polly Shea.
Born only three years after World War I, as a young teenager, Polly assumed the role of maternal caretaker following the untimely death of her mother. She helped her father raise her younger sisters and manage the household while completing her education at Cheverus High School and business school; at which time she worked her way up the administrative ladder at the John Hancock Life Insurance Co. in Malden retiring as Office Supervisor, one of the first women to hold that position.
She leaves her beloved nieces and nephews Sheila Driscoll and Cliff Brown, Colleen and Scott Kinder, James (Jeff) and Margaret Driscoll, John (Jack) and Marion Driscoll, Gail and Mike Burati, and Julie and Francis (Fran) Nolan. She is also survived by her great-nieces and -nephews Alyssa, Ashley, John Peter, Ryan, Andrew, Lizzie, Claire, Dylan, Frankie, Marissa, and Danny as well as three great-grandnieces and two great-grandnephews.
In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made in Polly’s honor to the Fitch Home, 75 Lake Ave., Melrose, MA 02176 or Cheverus Catholic School, 30 Irving Street, Malden, MA 02148.