Pat Sheehan, a WWII Vet, Lab Man, Mentor, Storyteller, Girl Dad, Problem Solver, Ladies Man, and Fixer of Anything, died Thursday November 12, 2020 in Wilson, North Carolina. Unfortunately, his wish to be shot by a jealous husband did not come to fruition. Instead, he died gently surrounded by his family.
The facts about Pat are in 1924 he was born and raised in Cleveland Ohio, in 1942 he was the Cleveland Heights High School State track Champion, in 1942 he enrolled for fall semester at Purdue University majoring in Civil Engineering, in 1942-1945 he served in WWII as an Army Air Corp fighter pilot with the 23rd Flying Tigers Group in China completing 30 missions, in 1946-1951 he was a Case Western Reserve undergrad and Dental School (he made ABSOLUTLY sure that NO GI Bill dollars were left on the table), in 1951-1953 he joined the Army Dental Corp, during the Korean War he served his country in the Army Dental Corp at Ft. McClellan Alabama, in 1954 he moved back up north and soon settled in Norwalk Ohio and practiced dentistry for 39 years and in 1984 he finished his Military career in the Army Dental Corp Reserves and retired a full Coronel.
The women in his life were numerous! He particularly fancied smart women. He married his wife, Mary Ann O’Brien in 1950. During their 56 years of marriage, they managed to raise two more smart women, their daughters, Carol Bowen and Nancy Harris both of Wilson.
He tried to teach them to be generous, fair, kind, honest, non-judgmental, and funny. He was a “Girl Dad” before it was cool. He could stand up for one in juvenile court by day, and film the ballet recital solos for the other by night. Quite sure you all know which one is which-no need for names!!!!!
He had a life-long love affair with donuts, also animal crackers, ginger snaps, sweet tea and his mother’s homemade custard. Notice a common denominator???? SUGAR!!!! Clearly that was his secret to a long life.
He’s the unofficial G.O.A.T. WLKR Quickie Quiz Champion. *not verified. Only being able to win once every 30 days posed a problem. Undeterred, he would just have the patient that was in the dental chair call in the correct answer!!!!! Then we would run around town picking up free stuff like potato chips from Joe and Ed’s drive thru and a plastic ice cube tray from the gas company!
He was the Army Badminton Champ as well as the Norwalk Recreation Center Volleyball champ circa 1959. He took up tennis at age 50 and was a lifelong golfer with a hole-in-one to his credit.
Did you know he was a master at woodcarving? Neither did his family until he produced intricate carvings of many Norwalk landmarks. We think these were carved at his dental office with his dental tools, so you better check your fillings!
He could cut a “square” rug! He loved the socialization and all the pretty ladies in the local square-dancing group.
Even when he eventually was older than most of his Meals on Wheels clients, he never considered giving it up.
He was named “Huron County Senior of the Year” in 2013 in front of a sellout crowd. This honor came with lots of swag, but the “cherry on top” was getting to ride in a Corvette in the 4th of July Parade. It was later learned that some of the office girls were running up to the car along the route with paper cups full of Manhattans!!!!!! Who knew????
He was a Catholic for life. He once went to confession to confess a sin that he intended to commit later! It was only eating meat on Friday, and he had a compelling argument for eating the meat, so the priest granted “pre-forgiveness”. He called St. Paul’s Catholic Church in Norwalk home and was very active in the 4th Degree Knights of Columbus.
Did you know he got his driver license renewed with no restrictions at age 96? Oh, you heard that already? One of his proudest moments! He never got the opportunity to drive after that, but darn it, he got the license!
Pat is survived by his daughters, Carol Bowen and husband, Mike of Wilson and Nancy Harris of Wilson; grandchildren, Amanda Bowen Kuhn and husband, Todd of Midlothian, Virginia, Christopher Bowen of Los Angeles, California and Nathan Harris of Dallas, Texas and his great-grandchildren, Caroline, Charlotte and Bowen Kuhn.
Pat is preceded in death by his wife, Mary Ann O’Brien; infant daughter, Elaine Sheehan; sister, Barbara Clements and his parents, Arthur and Lura Sheehan.
Although he never met a vegetable he could tolerate, he was the healthiest human! He either walked or rode his bike to work his entire career. He never could get the hang of cigarette smoking, even though he tried, and a spirited beverage was saved for special occasions.
As a tribute to a man that lived the YMCA mission “to put Christian principles into practice through programs that build healthy spirit, mind and body for all” an exercise studio in the brand new Wilson Family YMCA will be named for Papa Sheehan. Should you wish to honor Pat’s memory, the family suggests donations to the Wilson Family YMCA, 3436 Airport Blvd, Wilson, North Carolina 27896.
His life was one to be celebrated. We will do exactly that during the summer of 2021 in Norwalk, Ohio. As details are finalized, they will be shared.
In the meantime, fix yourself a Manhattan, and toast one of the last of the Greatest Generation, a man whose life made a difference, and should be celebrated. And if the spirit strikes you, go ahead and run your Christmas Tree up your flagpole!!!!!
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Arthur Patrick Sheehan, Jr., please visit our floral store.