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Peter Shea Obituary

Peter Shea Obituary

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From early in his career, Peter Shea was most comfortable in khaki pants, a blue collared button down, and boots muddy from a J.F. Shea Co. heavy construction or Shea Homes building site. The J.F. Shea Co., Inc., renowned for its work on the Golden Gate Bridge, Hoover Dam, and Interstate Highway System, has been a leader in the heavy construction industry in the United States for over a century. A relentlessly hard worker, Peter grew up around the family business’s construction sites, spending his childhood, adolescent, and college summers on dam and tunnel projects in the Western United States and working as ‘chucktender’ and miner on several tunnel projects. In 1961, he joined his cousin John Shea and brother Edmund Jr. as co-owner of the newly dissolved and reincorporated J.F. Shea Co., serving as the company’s Vice President. He later served as President of its heavy construction subsidiary, J.F. Shea Construction. Peter led every Shea heavy construction project since 1960, and he left his mark on the industry through the innovations and improvements that the company achieved under his leadership. Alongside John and Edmund, Peter helped expand the Shea organization to include not only heavy construction but one of the nation’s largest privately held home building and real estate development companies, Shea Homes and Shea Properties.

Peter Owen Shea

BORN:1935

DIED: 2023

UPCOMING SERVICE

Memorial Service

Nov. 11, 2023

2:00 p.m.

Our Lady Queen of Angels Catholic Church

May 29, 1935 – October 23, 2023 Peter Owen Shea Dies at 88 President of J.F. Shea Construction, Inc., Vice President of J.F. Shea Co., Inc., and a Leader in Heavy Construction, Homebuilding, and Commercial Real Estate

On Monday, October 23, Peter Owen Shea lost a fierce and courageous fight against Parkinson’s disease. He passed peacefully with his wife and children surrounding his bedside in Newport Beach, CA. During his 88 years, Peter lived his days with kindness, simplicity, competitiveness, and humor.

Born on May 29, 1935 in Los Angeles, Peter was the fourth of Margaret and Edmund Shea’s five children. In 1953 Peter graduated from Loyola High School of Los Angeles, which he considered “the greatest education that he could have ever received.” It was during those early years that Peter cultivated his competitive golf game which grew into a lifelong passion that he pursued well into his 80s. He had the great fortune to play almost every major course in the United States and many in other parts of the world. He particularly enjoyed organizing golf trips for his buddies and family to Ireland and Scotland. Peter became highly accomplished, including making the cut at the Bing Crosby/AT&T tournament in which he competed many times, and shooting his age on his 70th birthday.

Peter maintained close, cherished friendships throughout his life. In 1957 Peter graduated with a business degree from the University of California, Berkeley where he led their golf team and played epic pranks with his Psi Upsilon fraternity brothers. In 1960, he earned a second degree in Civil Engineering from USC’s Viterbi School of Engineering.

Peter met the love of his life, Carolyn Louise Hand, at the 1963 Bachelors Ball in San Francisco. They were married on September 19, 1964 at San Francisco’s St. Cecilia Church. Peter’s joy expanded exponentially when he became a father to the couple’s three children, Catherine, Peter Jr., and Sally. Their partnership of nearly 60 years was grounded on a foundation of Christian faith, respect, and mutual love and devotion. The couple spent the first three years of their marriage in Farmington, New Mexico where they made some of their closest lifelong friends and best memories. They spent most of their married life in Newport Beach, where you could find Peter playing tennis or bridge, deep sea fishing, body whomping, or putting on their bayfront green. While Peter was a man of few words, he enjoyed connecting with people and deeply valued gathering with family and his loyal community of golfing, bridge-playing, or neighborhood friends.

From early in his career, Peter was most comfortable in khaki pants, a blue collared button down, and boots muddy from a J.F. Shea Co. heavy construction or Shea Homes building site. The J.F. Shea Co., Inc., renowned for its work on the Golden Gate Bridge, Hoover Dam, and Interstate Highway System, has been a leader in the heavy construction industry in the United States for over a century. A relentlessly hard worker, Peter grew up around the family business’s construction sites, spending his childhood, adolescent, and college summers on dam and tunnel projects in the Western United States and working as ‘chucktender’ and miner on several tunnel projects. In 1961, he joined his cousin John Shea and brother Edmund Jr. as co-owner of the newly dissolved and reincorporated J.F. Shea Co., serving as the company’s Vice President. He later served as President of its heavy construction subsidiary, J.F. Shea Construction. Peter led every Shea heavy construction project since 1960, and he left his mark on the industry through the innovations and improvements that the company achieved under his leadership. Alongside John and Edmund, Peter helped expand the Shea organization to include not only heavy construction but one of the nation’s largest privately held home building and real estate development companies, Shea Homes and Shea Properties.

Peter served on various construction industry and community organizations including as Director of AGC of California, Director of the Beavers, Trustee for the University of California Berkeley Foundation, and Member of the University of California Berkeley Business School Advisory Board. He also served on the Board of Directors of the University of California, Irvine Business School. He is the recipient of the prestigious Beavers Award and the Moles Award for Management.

Peter was committed to his Catholic faith and valued supporting their parochial schools, particularly Jesuit schools, and friends who found themselves in hard circumstances. Except in competition, Peter never took himself too seriously. He was utterly devoted to his beloved friends and family. He lives on in the hearts of all who knew and loved him.

Peter Owen Shea is survived by his wife, Carolyn H. Shea; children, Catherine N . (née Shea) Johnson, Peter O. Shea, Jr., Sarah H. Shea, son-in-law, Charles M. Johnson Jr., daughter-in-law, Deborah D. (née Walbert) Shea; grandchildren, Trey Johnson, Natalie (née Johnson) Baber, Luke Shea, Dylan Johnson, Carson Shea, Andy Johnson, Peter Shea III, and Lily Shea; great-grandchildren, Charles Johnson IV and Austin Johnson; siblings, Henry Shea (wife Joan) and Mary Elizabeth Callaghan (husband John); 22 nieces and nephews; and in-laws, Roy and Laurie Jacobes.

In lieu of flowers, donations in honor of Peter Shea may be made to:

Loyola High School of Los Angeles: https://www.loyolahs.edu/giving/gifts-in-memoriam/

Walk to Defeat ALS Charlotte: Mr. Edmund H. Shea III – The ALS Association North Carolina: http://secure.alsnc.org/goto/edshea

Memorial Service to be held on Saturday, November 11, 2023, at 2:00 p.m. at Our Lady Queen of Angels Catholic Church, Newport Beach, CA.

 

 

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