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Eugene "Gene" Michael Sheehan
January 2, 1944 ~ January 23, 2024 (age 80) 80 Years Old
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Eugene (Gene) Michael Sheehan passed away at age 80 on January 23,2024 after fighting a valiant 6-year battle with colon cancer. He leaves behind his wife of 31 years Marcia, brother Patrick Sheehan, M.D. and his wife Shari, sister-in-law Susan Sheehan, brother-in law David Torrey, nieces Maria Sheehan and Catherine Bruno, great nephews Nicolas Bruno and Andrew Bruno, foster nephew Clarence Johnson, several cousins, and a large, devoted extended family. His parents Cornelius (Neil) and Mary, foster sister Rita Johnson, and brother Neil predeceased him.
Gene, the youngest, was born January 2, 1944, in Holyoke, MA. He attended Holyoke schools, graduating in 1962. He then attended the University of Massachusetts graduating with a B.A. in English in 1966. After graduation he enlisted in the US Army. He had a varied and illustrious military career. The US Army sent him to language school in Monterey, CA for Chinese linguist skills, which he used in Japan and on Korea’s DMZ. When he returned stateside, his last duty post was at the National Security Agency.
His civilian career was equally successful. He became a Probation and Parole Agent in Maryland. He returned to Northampton, MA area in 1973 and was appointed Probation Officer, then Assistant Chief, and finally Chief Probation Officer, retiring in 2002. Throughout his career both military and civilian, Gene was passionate about delivering the highest quality of service for the greater good in the communication/intelligence field (Federal) and in the judicial field (State)
Gene was an avid sportsman who loved all the family pets over the years, including his impressive hunting “pupster”. He also enjoyed boating and fishing, making his own beautiful flies for use and display. He belonged to many sporting clubs throughout the Pioneer Valley and was a life member of the NRA and Trout Unlimited. Gene was also a voracious reader.
Despite his long and debilitating illness, he never lost his interest and ability to knowledgeably discuss current and historical, federal-state-local-international issues. He was professional, fair, yet amiable. He had a wonderful sense of humor. He could recall and describe events both serious and comical up until the day he passed away.
Gene was a spiritual man all his life. He considered helping others to be a high priority, and took great pride in establishing, with his wife, the Neil and Mary Sheehan Scholarship Fund at Holyoke Community College and meeting some of the recipients. Gene loved and was loved. He will be greatly missed.
At his request, funeral services will be private. In lieu of flowers, the family suggest memorial contributions be made to the Neil and Mary Sheehan Scholarship Fund. C/O Holyoke Community College, 303 Homestead Avenue, Holyoke, MA. or VNA Hospice, 169 Industrial Drive, Northampton, MA. 01060.
The family wishes to thank the Hospice team for their exceptional care given to Gene. In addition, the family thanks the entire Chirgwin family and friends for the help throughout Gene’s journey.