Mrs. Shea Reaches Her 102nd Birthday

by Laurel | April 9th, 2010

Receives Scores of Callers, Many Congratulatory Messages and Bouquets

Holyoke, April 8. –Mrs. Catherine Shea of 62 Prospect street celebrated her 102nd birthday at her home today and was visited and greeted by scores of old and new friends and remembered with many bouquets. Letters and telegrams were also abundant. By nightfall the home looked more like a conservatory than a residence.

Mrs. Shea was born on Easter Tuesday, April 8, 1828, and came to Boston with her parents at the time of the great famine in Ireland. Her great grandmother lived to be more than 100, according to her memory which is yet clear through advancing years have enfeebled her frame. Her grandmother came to Holyoke with the rest. She kept a boarding house on Maple street for many years, her boarders being largely young Irish girls who came even before Holyoke was a township. The grandmother also lived to be 100.

Mrs. Shea’s parents were Mr. and Mrs. Daniel O’Brien. Her husband was Jeremiah Shea of Chicopee, who died 60 years ago.

Her face brightened up this morning when one of her visitors addressed her in her native tongue and she forgot her 102 years long enough to sing in the old traditional style a Gaelic folk song that has lived for centuries. Then, on hearing some one express the hope that he might see her next year, she answered, “I hope you will, but none of us knows that.”

From the Springfield Republican, April 9, 1930

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.


Suggested Holyoke Books

Mountain Park -- The Holyoke destination we all loved.

Mount Holyoke College

Mount Holyoke College, Postcard History by Donna Albino. Many Holyoke women have attended Mount Holyoke. Author also maintains an amazing MHC website based upon her personal collection.

Holyoke - Chicopee, A Perspective

Holyoke-Chicopee: A Perspective, by Ella Merkel DiCarlo. DiCarlo, a former Transcript columnist offers a fascinating compilation of her essays. Published in 1982, this out-of-print book is worth looking for in the aftermarket.


Holyoke, by Craig Della Penna. The first Holyoke book in the Arcadia series, published in 1997.

Belle Skinner Collection

Belle Skinner Collection, by Ruth Isabel Skinner. Published in 1933, this book is long out of print but copies are still available in the aftermarket.

Mitch Epstein: Family Business

Mitch Epstein: Family Business Published in 2003, available in the aftermarket. Epstein's furniture.