John Patrick Sheehy of Minneapolis, died unexpectedly after a brief illness on April 14, 2012. Preceded in death by his father, Robert Patrick; aunt and godmother Ruth Sheehy Finnell; and many other aunts and uncles. Survived by his wife of 32 years, Kathleen Dunn Sheehy; daughters Madeline, Ellen, Marie; mother Mae Sheehy; brothers Francis (Maureen Dunn) and James (Leah), sisters Sharmaine Wittsack (Lyle); Nythar Sheehy, Colleen Sheehy (Peter Murphy), Michelle Halle (Earl), Theresa Sheehy; father and mother- in-law Warren and Nancy Dunn; sisters-in-law Erin Dunn (Ted Wentink), and Theresa Dunn; many wonderful nieces, nephews, and cousins-“the extended Sheehy Clan.”
From humble beginnings, John became one of the most accomplished trial lawyers in Minnesota. John was born in Minneapolis on February 21, 1955, the fourth child of eight born to Robert Patrick and Mae Daniels Sheehy. His mother raised the children, who were all under the age of fourteen at the time of his father’s premature death at age forty. After graduating from St. Louis Park High School, he earned a B.A. in history from the University of Minnesota in 1981 and a Law Degree from that school in 1984. John was managing partner at Meshbesher and Spence, where for 30 years he practiced civil and criminal law. At the age of 27, within two years of passing the bar exam, John argued a case before the U.S. Supreme Court and was so new to the law profession that the Court required a senior attorney be present when he argued against the U.S. Assistant Solicitor General. Ron Meshbesher served in that role. John loved his clients, took on the toughest cases, and he never forgot the poor and downtrodden. He was most proud of the free work he did for people in need. Jury awards for his clients achieved unparalleled results, as he never lost a civil trial, and was one of only two lawyers in Minnesota to be twice named Lawyer of the Year by Minnesota’s leading law journal. Passionate about his many interests, John enjoyed golf, fishing, antique cars, world travel, photography, books, music, and fine cooking. He loved nothing more than having family and friends gathered in his home for feasts and celebrations. He was proud of the family’s roots in International Falls and Duluth, MN. John was known for his large spirit, sharp wit, charming personality, and legendary generosity. His favorite song was “No Surrender” by Bruce Springsteen. John’s life was made complete by love for his family, and their love for him. He will be missed by all who knew and loved him. Many thanks to the physicians and nurses at Abbott Northwestern Hospital’s Intensive Care Unit who provided such excellent and compassionate care to John, and his family, during his illness.
Visitation Tuesday, April 17, 5 – 8 p.m. at Washburn-McReavy Edina Chapel, West 50th St. and Highway 100. Mass of Christian Burial at Church of the Incarnation, 3817 Pleasant Ave. S. on Wednesday, April 18 at 11:30 a.m. Interment following at Lakewood Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, the family prefers donations to Minnesota AIDS Project or Minnesota United for All Families. www.Washburn-McReavy.com Edina Chapel 952-920-3996
Published in Star Tribune from April 16 to April 17, 2012
Read more about John’s work at Meshbesher & Spence.