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Rest In Peace, Ray Shea

Middlesex lost a true original with the passing of Raymond J. Shea, a faculty member at the college since the day it opened in 1970.

Shea, 76, of Bolton, passed away on Thanksgiving after a courageous health battle, with his family by his side.

A member of the Society of Jesus Jesuits from 1954-1965 and an alumnus of Boston College and Middlebury Breadloaf School of English, Ray taught at Boston College High from 1961-1964, at Stoneham High from 1966-1970, and then joined Middlesex when the college opened its doors in 1970, staying with it for the past 42 years.


He was the beloved husband of Sandra Albertson-Shea.

Additionally, he was the father of Kristin Shea Bunnell, the brother of Kathleen Shea Blazon of Peabody and the late Jack Shea of Burlington, the stepfather of Kimberly Albertson of Worthington and Robin Albertson-Wren of Charlottesville, VA., and grandfather to Ashley and Shealah Bunnell and step-grandchildren Kayli and Colby Wren.

Gifts in his name may be made to: BC High.edu/give, MGH Development Office - Melanoma Research, Hospicefoundation.org, or the Ray Shea Scholarship Fund for international studies care of the MCC Foundation, P.O. Box 716, Bedford, MA 01730. 

Ray's memorial service will be held on Saturday, December 8th, from 2-3 p.m., at the Friends Quaker Meeting House, 5 Longfellow Park Cambridge, followed by a reception.

He'll be missed on campus by his friends, his students, and everyone who knew him.

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Posted: Monday, November 26, 2012 10:05 AM by MCC Blog Admin


Phyllis Worth said:

A true friend to many people at MCC.  We will all miss you Ray.  

# November 29, 2012 12:39 PM

Carolyn Delehanty said:

Middlesex certainly lost a kind soul.  I remember meeting Ray Shea and Sandi Alberston Shea, when I was a member of Matter of Fact, such a sweet kind couple.  They were a joy to work with!    I am so sorry to learn of his passing.   deepest sympathies to Sandi Albertson-Shea.

# November 29, 2012 12:41 PM

David Daniel said:

Ray was a gentleman and a scholar. He'll be missed.

# November 29, 2012 12:52 PM

Martin Epstein said:

Oh Ray, you cool, funny, bright, always interested and interesting and major handsome guy, rest in eternal peace.

# November 29, 2012 1:08 PM

Kathy Register said:

Ray was one of a kind. One of my favorite interviews, he was always eager to talk about MCC's earliest days, as well as our latest accomplishments. Ray certainly left the world a better place for his presence. My deepest sympathies to you, Sandi, and the entire family.  

# November 29, 2012 1:15 PM

Moe Moghimi said:

That always smiling face, you will be missed...

# November 29, 2012 1:17 PM

Marie Caruso said:

I remember when his daughter was a student here. She was in my math class. After that I always got a family update from Ray. He smiled from ear to ear just talking about his family. My sympathy to Sandi and all of Ray's family. Now he smiles down on us from a better place.

# November 29, 2012 1:32 PM

Alyce L. O'Connell said:

Ray was one of my favorite instructors many years ago when I was at MCC for my 1st degree in the 80's ~  A few years later Ray and I would cross paths again, photographing and videographing weddings and events together, ~ and then again in the early 2000's, when I found myself back at MCC working on a 2nd Degree and Instructing photography.  Seeing Ray around the campus and chatting with him always made my day :) ~ I am blessed and so grateful for knowing you Ray ~ you made me a better person in so many ways.  

I will miss you my friend ~ Rest easy Ray.

My heartfelt sympathy to Sandi and family.

# November 29, 2012 1:39 PM

Amanda said:

Professor Shea taught me everything I needed to know for my experience in Ireland. I will never forget how much I looked forward to his class every Wednesday. His passion of the Emerald Isle was reflected in the way he shared his wisdom with us students. He has given us a gift that will never be taken away. I will always remember Professor Shea, especially when I think of Ireland, a country he loved so much. My condolences go out to his family. He is truly a special man and his memory will live on .

# November 29, 2012 2:04 PM

Dennis Malvers said:

The campus became gray when we first learned of Ray's passing. But as his memory lives on, the campus is bright again.  Ray and Sandi were two of the first faculty members who welcomed me to MCC, 25 years ago.  I have appreciated their friendship and support ever since and truly enjoyed collaborating with them on so many programs over the years.  My thoughts and prayers are with Sandi and the Albertson-Shea family.

# November 29, 2012 2:48 PM

Nancy A. Nesset Curll said:

Ray you will be missed so much.  YOu always brought a smile to my day when ever we crossed paths.  There was always a twinkle in your eye and I think a little bit of mischief too.  You made my experience here at the college a pleasure right from the start.  You will be missed and I am so grateful that I had the chance to know you.

My thoughts and prayers go out to Sandy and the family.

Rest in Peace Ray


# November 29, 2012 3:29 PM

Elise Martin said:

Ray was a wonderful man who inspired many by fighting the good fight, living his life as fully as he could for as long as he could, with the help of his wife and best friend, Sandi.  I am happy that I had the chance to get to know him.

# November 29, 2012 3:54 PM

Elaine Crandall said:

Ray and Sandi were always in attendance when we hosted International scholars at Nesmith House years past.  No matter the hour, they found time to work it into their schedule with such enthusiasm. They certainly made such an impression on our guests and what great ambassadors for MCC and America.  

I am deeply saddened by Ray's passing, he will be missed but always in our hearts. My thoughts and prayers to you and yours Sandi.

Much affection,

Elaine Crandall

# November 29, 2012 4:35 PM

Kathy Mulrenan said:

...Ray was an inspiration to many of us, those early years at Middlesex...He was very involved in the school, as well as many student activities...His smile lit up the room, and he genuinely cared about all his students...you will be missed...

# November 29, 2012 4:58 PM

Stephanie Daniel said:

Very sad to hear about the passing of this utterly charming, intelligent, and kind man. Sincerest condolences to Sandi and family.

# November 29, 2012 5:15 PM

Charmi Sperling said:

Ray lit up the lives of all who experienced him. Memories of his cute antics, serious passions, unending curiosities, and larger-than-life presence will continue to do so for the many of us who will cherish memories of special moments with him.

Heartfelt condolences to Sandi and the entire family. My thoughts and prayers are with you as you both mourn and celebrate this magnificent man....

# November 29, 2012 5:22 PM

Jennifer Aradhya said:

I had the privilege of studying Latin with Ray. His unwavering patience and impressive knowledge of taxonomy made me love language. We will miss you, Ray. Non omnis moriar.

# November 29, 2012 5:38 PM

Philip Mahler said:

Always cheerful, always smiling, he brightened the day of anyone who crossed his path. A wonderful man and colleague. After 30 years, very sad to lose him, very grateful for the memories.

# November 29, 2012 6:00 PM

Deb Kearney said:

Ray way a truly wonderful person...so involved in MCC and in what the college means to so many people!  I loved talked to him and writing about him....he was unique.  Condolences to Sandi and their family.  Rest in peace!

# November 29, 2012 9:12 PM

Ed Chapdelaine said:

MCC and the world lost a true original.

Great great guy

# November 30, 2012 8:17 AM

Betty Millin said:

A kind, considerate, thoughtful man... MCC and all of us here are richer for knowing Ray and sharing MCC activities with him - from campus gatherings, to a trip to Cambodia, to Fulbright parties.  Thank you.

May your family know that all of you are in our thoughts

# November 30, 2012 10:17 AM

Daryll (Tsimahides) Leary said:

What a nice tribute to a kind man.  

When I was timid and anxious about returning to school after, what seemed like a lifetime, Professor Shea was my first instructor when MCC had night classes at Chelmsford High School.  He was so passionate and knowledgeable about English Literature that all my fears dissolved and I couldn’t wait until the next class.  His enthusiasm was contagious and his encouragement provided the spark I needed to continue my education for which I am forever grateful.  Ray was truly dedicated to his students and will be missed.

# December 1, 2012 5:25 PM

Marilyn Yeo said:

Ray, so genuine and caring and always a gentleman. He had a way of making others feel they mattered. Ray's smile was contagious, he brightened up many meetings and gatherings at MCC, few people have such warmth. He was a shining star at Middlesex and I'll certainly miss him. Sandi and all of Ray's family and friends, you're in my thoughts and prayers.  

# December 1, 2012 10:23 PM

Phil Quinlan said:

Ray Was A Great Person Rest In Peace YOU Will Be Missed

# December 3, 2012 12:07 AM

Anne Miller said:

May your rewards in heaven be as great as what you gave all of us on earth.

Thank you for the wonderful books you recommended as we made copies on the second floor in Henderson Hall.

Thank you for the wonderful trip to Ireland.

Thank you for the many years of comraderie and

Thank you for taking care of Sandy.

# December 3, 2012 9:04 AM

Janet McLane said:

Rest in Peace.. I remember Ray's warm smile and his support of the MCC Dental Hygiene clinic at the Va campus location.. He made our students feel valued and their services greatly appreciated! My best to his family..

# December 3, 2012 10:57 AM

Thelma Cromwell-Moss said:

My prayers are for the family and the loss. May his memories help you over your grief and his life be sweetly savored.

# December 3, 2012 11:26 AM

Mark Houlihan said:

What a huge loss!!!  My father hired Ray back in 1970 when MCC was at the veteran's hospital.  I can remember my father telling us about this professor who was extremely talented and held classes outside if there happened to be VA patients in the room.  In the 80's I took some classes with Ray and found that he was a truly wonderful professor and person.  

My thoughts are with Sandy and the family...

# December 3, 2012 11:38 AM

Chris Lindsey said:

We have lost a wonderful and caring person. My thoughts and prayers go out to Sandi and the family. He will be greatly missed at MCC.

# December 3, 2012 11:40 AM

Nick said:

I loved this guy! Revitalized a passion i had for poetry and changed the way i looked at things. Rest in peace ray, you are already very missed

# December 3, 2012 12:12 PM

Toby Rao said:

Shocked by this, such a great class, in 2007, loved his home movies about Ireland.  You will be missed.

# December 3, 2012 12:14 PM

Terry Peterson former student Dracut, MA said:

I am so sorry to hear of the passing of my English professor Ray Shea from Middlesex.  I remember him to be such a warm, compassionate and approachable professional who really knew how to reach kids.  I truly enjoyed his class and have always had fond memories of him while I was at Middlesex.  I remember reading Death of a Salesman” and “Canterbury Tales” one semester and him brining such life and excitement to his class!  Rest in Peace!

# December 3, 2012 12:30 PM

Aleksey Cherkasskiy said:

Professor Shea made my experience at MCC that much more enjoyable. A bright star in mediocrity, I found his Irish studies class helped me express myself and served as a great introduction to a beautiful culture!

You will be remembered in my heart...

# December 3, 2012 12:45 PM

Denise Belleville said:

Ray Shea, I had him as an instructor in 1983 and later work with Ray at the college.  What a wonderful, caring and dedicated man.  His eyes were so inviting and caring, they were a vessel into what kind of man Ray was, downright beautiful inside and out. The world lost a true gentleman on Thanksgiving Day.  Rest in eternal peace, Ray.  My condolences to Ray's family and friends!

# December 3, 2012 2:12 PM

Gina said:

I remember when Mr Shea and his wife performed in our little black box theater, Love Letters.  Such a sincere performance :)  

I took Irish Literature in 2004 or 2005 had to be one of my favorite classes at MCC, so many great stories.  My thoughts are with him and his family.

# December 3, 2012 4:01 PM

Walter Palino said:

Ray Shea, I miss the way he got excited as he was teaching. It is a rare gift he had to make you feel like you were correct even when you were wrong. The school and all of us have lost a great friend. God bless his family.

# December 3, 2012 4:18 PM

Tracy Tobin` said:

So sorry to hear about the passing of Mr. Shea.   He was one of my favorite teachers in college.  I loved Irish Literature, and the way he always had a joke in class.  God Bless you and your family!!

# December 3, 2012 4:43 PM

Michele Mulligan said:

I am saddened to hear about the loss of Professor Shea.  Although I never had him as a professor, he led the 1994 China Fellowship along with his wife Sandi Albertson-Shea.

Throughout my life when I've spoken to people about my fellowship in China, I've always remembered the wonderful journey Ray and Sandi led us on.  It wouldn't have been such an exciting & cultural experience without them both.

I remember we felt like one big family making our way half way across the world; starting with our retreat in Westminster, our climb to Diamond Head Mountain in Hawaii, our train ride through China, and I especially remember our time at The Great Wall.  Thank you for such wonderful memories and touching my life during our China Fellowship in 1994.

God Bless Ray and his family!

# December 4, 2012 8:37 AM

Donna Fitzgerald said:

Ray Shea was a great person and a wonderful teacher.  I took several of his classes and he always made me feel that he was interested in what I wrote or said. I especially loved Ray's Irish Lit class and still remember several poems he recited.

My sympathy to his family.

# December 4, 2012 9:07 AM

Frank Falcetta said:

Ray was one of a kind - articulate,kind,genuine and compassionate.I remember meeting him in 1970 at the very first meeting of the MCC faculty.During his lengthy service to the MCC community he never wavered from his commitment to students.He more than anyone represented the values of MCC.He will be missed.

Frank M. Falcetta

Charter Faculty Member  

# December 4, 2012 2:50 PM

Hayat Weiss said:

Ray's smile lit up the space around him.  His genuine concern for others, his ability to listen and his willingness to share stories, especially about Ireland, will live forever with all of those who came in touch with him over the years.

The happy memories live on with us.

Sandy, I am so sorry for your loss.  I send my deepest sympathies to you and to the family.

# December 4, 2012 5:49 PM

Tom Norton said:

I was very saddened by the news of Ray's passing.  I loved being a student in his Irish Lit. class back in the early 90s and later had the unique opportunity to travel to China with him and Sandi in 1994.  He clearly had a passion for teaching, his students and life long learning.  My heartfelt condolences to Sandi and his entire family.

Tom Norton

1994 MCC China Fellowship Student

# December 4, 2012 9:00 PM

Larry Couture said:

I am thankful that I knew him as one of my professors and friends at MCC. He had a great sense of humor, a true gentleman...I miss him.  

# December 5, 2012 4:48 PM

Jacqueline Smith said:

Professor Shea had an wonderful impact on my college experience. As my first professor,  he made me want to attend classes, and made it exciting! As my advisor, he was insightful and helpful. He will truly be missed at MCC!  My deepest sympathies to his family.

# December 5, 2012 7:05 PM

darrell scott said:

i was a student at mcc from 83 to 85 - and a student of ray shea's from 83 to even this moment and beyond - we were in plays together, he introduced me to whitman & thoreau & he was a true, lifelong teacher - one who kept in touch with me  right up to his passing

it is striking to me

how much i loved him

and he me

ray is one of those spirits

who touched me deeply, quietly

by just being 100% his authentic, caring self

ray is an angel-

darrell scott mcc 1985

# December 6, 2012 12:08 AM

Carl Schilling said:

The memorial service in remembrance of Ray was a heartfelt tribute to an extraordinary person. Words and song, poetry and prose, gave voice to the feelings we had for a man we admired and loved.  His warmth, his humor, and his amazing depth of knowledge were recognized by all who met him.

Yesterday was the second time that I attened a Quaker service - the first was Ray and Sandi's wedding. While the wedding was an occasion of complete joy, the second combined joy at knowing Ray with the sadness of losing him.  Those who gathered yeterday gave evidence of the great number of people touched by his life.

# December 10, 2012 4:18 PM
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