Welcome to the memorial page for

Marilyn F. (Sharkey) Shea

May 3, 1926 ~ December 3, 2016 (age 90)

Obituary Image

 Marilyn, 90, died on December 3, 2016 at Highland Village in Shelburne Falls, MA. She was a long-time resident of Shelburne Falls, where she raised her family with her beloved husband John and pursued her artistic career as a painter, illustrator and writer.
  Known artistically as “Kukoshiene,” Marilyn F. Shea was born Marilyn Frances Sharkey, the second child of 1932 world heavyweight boxing champion Jack Sharkey.  Her art training began at the Sisters of Notre Dame School and Vesper George School of the Arts. She started her career as a fashion illustrator at Winter Furrier and then staff artist of Boston’s YMCA.  Her stylized figures reflected scenes of day to day American life, idyllic river views and farms and country vistas, both in water color and oil. Her paintings are represented in the collections of many west county residences and institutions.
  She had been the director of the Mohawk Trail Association, Vice President of the Shelburne Falls Woman’s Club, Founder of the Bridge of Flowers Artist Guild, director of the Deerfield Valley Art Association, member of the Shelburne Falls Business Association,  supporter of the Mary Lyon Association and member of the St. Joseph's Parish.
  Never one to hold back her opinion,  she might be best remembered locally for her frequent “Letters to the Editor, ” which appeared in the Greenfield Recorder over the years. Mrs. Shea had also served as a staff art critic for the Greenfield Recorder Gazette, where she contributed articles for publication.
  In 1963, Marilyn and husband John purchased their home at 20 Water Street and established a gift shop and an art studio at the famed Bridge of Flowers. Her promotion of the Bridge of Flowers over many decades was a foundation for tourism in the area. Marilyn and John operated the gift shop and art studio until the sale of the property in 2000.
  Marilyn is survived by four of her five children; Jack Shea and wife Christie of Ashfield, Mark Shea of Amherst, Patrick Shea and wife Susan of Shelburne Falls, daughter Suzanne Taylor and husband Richard of Ashfield. She is predeceased by her husband of 68 years John, her daughter Mary Ellen Shea of Anchorage, Alaska, brother Jack Sharkey Jr., and sister Dorothy MacDonald. Marilyn had seven grandchildren: Kate (Shea) Kellogg, Greg Shea, Heather (Shea) Kochin, Emily (Shea) Adamson, Clayton Shea, Simon Taylor, and Molly Taylor. In addition she leaves six great grandchildren: Milan Kellogg, Beckett and Levi Kochin, and Lily and Ralph Adamson and Scarlott Shea.
  Marilyn was blessed with the support and care of her children and many close family members and friends.  A funeral mass will be celebrated by Rev. Tony Cullen at St. Josephs's Parish in Shelburne Falls on Friday December 9, 2016 at 11:00 A.M.  Following the mass there will be a private burial at Arms Cemetery.  At Marilyn’s request there are no calling hours. Instead of flowers,  please make memorial donations to the St. Joseph's Parish (34 Monroe Ave, Shelburne Falls, MA 01370), Mary Lyon Foundation (75 Mechanic St, Shelburne Falls, MA 01370) or the Hospice of Franklin County (329 Conway St. #2, Greenfield, MA 01301).

 Service Information

Funeral Mass
December 9, 2016

11:00 AM
St, Joseph's Church
Monroe Ave.
Shelburne Falls, MA 01370

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