Robert Sheehan Obituary

Robert "Bob" Sheehan

November 15, 1929 - July 11, 2017
Born in Springfield, MA
Resided in Granby, MA
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Robert f. "Bob" Sheehan began the journey to Eternal Life on July 11, 2017 and is now in the hands of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Bob was the son of Edith Anna Nolan and Herbert James Sheehan and grew up in East Springfield, on Page Boulevard. He was a graduate of Cathedral Grammar school and Cathedral High School, class of 1947. In 1951, he graduated from American International College with a degree in chemistry.

Bob served his country during the Korean incursion and the Vietnam conflict in both in the National Guard and the US Army Ready Reserve and was available for call up at the option of the President. He received a direct commission and federal recognition as a 2nd Lieutenant in the 104th infantry and eventually became commanding officer of a heavy weapons company and later a rifle company. He transferred to the Army Ready Reserve and entered the 5 year course for general staff officers and he graduated from the United States Army Command and General Staff College at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas and obtained a Masters in Military Science. He became a Registered Professional Engineer in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts in 1968 and eventually became a life member of the National Society of Professional Engineers including the Pioneer Valley Chapter. He enrolled in the US Army distance learning department, took courses at the Industrial College of the Armed Forces at Fort Leslie McNair, in Washington, DC and received a certificate in economics. He was retired from the US Army as a Major with over 41 years of service.

Bob married his high school sweetheart in 1952, Eileen m. (Von Flatern) and together, in 1953, they built a small house in Westerly, Rhode Island. An opportunity arose and they sold it so that they could start building their home in Granby. They raised their three children in Granby: Bob Jr., who now runs the family business, and who attended Umass at Amherst in the School of Engineering; Cathy, who is the senior architect for Montgomery County, Maryland in the division of building design and construction and who graduated from the Rhode Island School of Design with a degree in fine arts and another degree in architecture; and Kenny who is a building contractor in Calvert County Maryland. Ken was the zoning enforcement officer and assistant building inspector in Granby before moving to Maryland, Ken attended Umass Amherst and studied environmental engineering.

Bob's industrial career started in august 1951 at American Bosch Corporation in Springfield in their metallurgical laboratory as an engineer-chemist, later, he was employed by A.G.Spalding bros., in Chicopee as manager of development engineering, then National Felt Company in Northampton as assistant plant manager and finally in June 1966 at National Blank Book in Holyoke as director of engineering. After 25 years at National Blank Book, whose name was later changed to Avery Dennison. He took early retirement but was immediately called back as a consultant to Dennison from 1990 thru 1999. Bob holds patents in the United States, Germany, England and in France. He was co-chair of the technical committee of the business records manufacturers association in Washington DC this group was working with the National Bureau of Standards in rewriting and simplifying product specifications. He was a member of the National Defense Executive Reserve from 1972 thru 1983, which was a division of the U.S. Department of Commerce. This organization would be activated in the event of at a national emergency, and members of the "nder" would assist or actually operate industrial firms throughout the country in the event that federal government was required to take over certain critical industries. At National Blank Book, he was responsible for the design and construction of warehouses in Dallas, Texas and Atlanta Georgia; a 330,000 square foot manufacturing plant and warehouse in Los Angeles; a 150,000 sq ft factory--warehouse in Chicago; and a 150,000 sq ft factory--warehouse in Meridian, Mississippi. He was appointed environmental officer for National Blank Book/Avery Dennison in 1978 and held that position until he retired.

Bob traveled extensively throughout Europe and the United States visiting factories and buying new equipment for the factories in Holyoke, Chicago and Los Angeles. Occasionally Eileen accompanied him. He also represented Dennison as an expert witness, testifying in several criminal trials and trials involving patent and trademark infringements.

Bob was instrumental in the purchasing of 92 acres of land in west Holyoke, where National Blank Book had intended to build a new modern manufacturing facility. However after 6 or 7 years Dennision decided to consolidate their operation in California with Avery, and the property was sold. Bob took graduate courses at Umass, Amherst and ultimately was certified as a soil evaluator and as a septic system inspector. In 1986, he started his own consulting firm RF.Sheehan Associates, Incorporated, specializing in the design of septic systems, surface water runoff, percolation testing and soil evaluation. The firm is still in operation and is now operated by his son, Bob Jr.

Bob was always very active in the catholic church; he was in the chancel choir at Cathedral for 12 years, while attending Cathedral Grammar and high schools, as an usher and also as organist at St Mary's church in East Springfield, working for the catholic charities program and later running the program in Immaculate Heart of Mary in Granby, he was a member and chair of the parish council, member of the maintenance committee, and chair of the church finance committee from 1972 thru 2009. He served as an extraordinary Eucharistic Minister from 1974 until he retired in 2007. He also served as a lector and an usher from 1975 thru 1990.

Bob devoted his time to the town of Granby serving as a member of the Finance Committee and chair of the Finance Committee for years; a selectman; a member and chair of the Personnel Board for 7 years; a member of the Selectmen's Advisory Committee; a member of the High School Curriculum Advisory Committee; and as chair of the AD Hoc Committee established by the selectmen to determine the best form of government for the town. He was a member of the Granby Bicentennial Planning Committee and chair of the Bicentennial Finance Committee.

Bob's greatest enjoyment was his family, working on various projects with his children and traveling with Eileen to both Europe and around the United States. The whole family accompanied him to Fort Leavenworth in Kansas when he finished his final year in the general staff college and they spent many happy times at Weekapaug, Charlestown and the Westerly, Rhode Island beaches and also at Cape Cod. Many weekends were also spent at the 4 H horse shows at Dufresne Park with Cathy and her friends.

He will be sorely missed by his family, Eileen, with whom he shared 65 years of marriage, and his children: Bob Jr. and Beth, grandchildren Nick, Scott and Ariana; Cathy and grandchildren Ryan and Brendan; and Kenny and Katie and grandson, Alex.

Funeral services will be on Tuesday, July 18 beginning with a gathering at Beers & Story South Hadley Funeral Home at 10:00 a.m. to process to St. Patrick's Church for a Funeral Mass at 11:00 a.m. Burial is private to the family. Calling hours are on Monday from 4:00 to 6:00 p.m. Donations in Bob's memory may be made to The Shriner's Hospital for Children or a charity that benefits veterans. Please visit for more information.

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Beers and Story South Hadley Funeral Home
646 Newton Street
South Hadley, MA US 01075
Monday, July 17, 2017
4:00 PM - 6:00 PM
Funeral Mass
St. Patrick's Church - South Hadley, MA
30 Main Street
South Hadley, MA United States 01075
Tuesday, July 18, 2017
11:00 AM - 12:00 PM