Joseph Sheehan was Bee copy editor, author, World War II veteran
Joseph Anthony Sheehan, an author and journalist who spent about 17 years as a Bee copy editor, died Saturday of emphysema, his family said. He was 87 and lived in Elk Grove.
Mr. Sheehan began working at a Las Vegas newspaper during the 1950s and was an editor at the Woodland Democrat and a technical writer in the aerospace industry. He moved to Sacramento to be a spokesman for the state Department of Fish and Game and worked at The Bee as a part-time copy editor. He later worked full time on the copy desk and retired in 1989.
He wrote book reviews and works as a freelance writer, including a play about Abraham Lincoln, "A Man for All Seasons." In 2008, he wrote a book about his family, "Sheehan Shenanigans." He later published a collection of short stories, "Four to Go: 'Second Chances' and Other Stories," and a book of poetry, "The Rhythm Method."
Mr. Sheehan was born in 1924 in Eureka, the second of 12 children in his family. He served in the Army during World War II as a radio operator in Europe and a radio tower installer in China, Burma and India. He earned a bachelor's degree in journalism at San Jose State University.
He raised a daughter and stepdaughter with his first wife, May, who died in 1998. At age 75, he married his second wife, Marguerite Busby, who survives him.
Other survivors include his daughter, Mary Slaugh of Citrus Heights; stepdaughter, Bea Johnson of Woodland; five grandchildren; and four great-grandchildren.
A memorial Mass is scheduled for 11 a.m. Saturday at Good Shepherd Catholic Church, 9539 Racquet Court, Elk Grove. Donations in memory of Mr. Sheehan may be made to Sutter Hospice. Checks made payable to Sutter Medical Center Foundation should designate "hospice" and be mailed to 2800 L St., Suite 620, Sacramento 95816.
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