ONEONTA - Jean Mangin Shea, 89, the woman who loved to read obituaries, is not around to read her own. It is a shame because compliments and flattery are scarce in life but abundant in death.
As a bridge-playing aficionado, Jean Shea spent a lifetime taking tricks until the North-South pair caught her short-suited and closed her contract. Trump was a word we heard frequently growing up, but never as disparagingly as during this past year. For a lifelong Democrat who never cursed, you would think she coined a new swear word.
Jean, a teetotaler by nature was predeceased by her husband of almost 50 years, Bob, who wasn't. He died in April of 1999. They had six children, Scott, Bob, Lori, Bill, Tim and Pete and raised them with unconditional love. Though, at times, her infinite patience must have been challenged, she never once raised her voice in anger. It was uncanny that as whatever time of night we rolled in, and in whatever condition, she was always up, reading, waiting for us, eager for tales of the evening. She always had out backs, and during those tough life moments, when there was only one set of tracks in the sand, it was hers, carrying us.
Jean loved her camp on Ramona Beach, Lake Ontario, where she spent every summer for the past 62 years surrounded by family and friends. Filled with mirth, Jean often viewed the world through the eyes of a child. Whether it was decorating for Christmas, which was a multi-month holiday at our house, collecting tops and toys, handing myriad marionettes throughout the house, or posting cartoons or quips to the refrigerator door. She encouraged people to smile and lighten their hearts. Jean dressed to the nines each and every day including matching jewelry.
Jean, born in Syracuse, was a graduate of Nottingham High School and Syracuse University, where she was a member of the ski team.
She is survived by her loving extended family who always enjoyed visiting her and eating her meatballs, applesauce and chocolate chip cookies, Scott, Bob and Jeanne; Matt and Clark and their children, Madelynn, Mason and Maverick; Kristen and Carl, who have a baby girl due in May; Jillian and Aaron MacIntyre and their children, Landon and Quinn; Lori and Pat McDonough and their children, Cassie and Tim, Bill and David, Tim and Sue, Aidan, Colin and Shannon, Pete and Joanne, Cyrus, Leaf and Finn.
Jean was predeceased by her brother, William Mangin; and sister, Mary Setright.
They say bridge is a dying game, and Jean, who always contemplated becoming a lifetime master, proved it to be true. Maybe now, with life's joys and distractions out of the way,s he will make her bid to become a master in the afterlife.
The family will gather this summer at Ramona Beach to celebrate Jean's life.
Donations may be made to Catskill Area Hospice, Oneonta.
Published on February 15, 2018