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Leah Mae Bernadette Shea was born in St Louis, Missouri in 1931 to Herman and Margaret Balkenbush and died at the age of 89 in Wylie TX.

Growing up in the 30's, she walked two miles in the snow and rode city buses to get to and from school. Always enterprising, Leah was the first in her class to gain employment at Woolworth's, the premium Dime Store, when just 14 years old; and always treasured her Xavier High School reunions, an opportunity to meet with friends who remembered what it was like to grow up during that period in our nation's history.

Shortly after she and her husband, Mike Shea, married, they moved to Dallas TX where their four children were born. A devout member of St. Pius X Catholic Church, she had been actively involved in the Ladies Auxiliary group and even ran the annual bazaar one year; as well as being an active member of the Texas Right-to-Life pro-life movement. A graduate of Eastfield Community College, she later enjoyed entering literary contests sponsored by her alma mater. Always interested in maintaining family traditions and joining family through shared cooking and baking experiences, Leah was well known for her German potato salad prepared using an old-fashioned hand crank grater. Preparation of her signature Santa cookies involved the whole family in an assembly line process that included bagging the cookies and hanging them on the tree to give as gifts.

Leah is survived by four children; Michael Shea and wife Debra of Royce City, TX; Joan Suggs and husband Jack of Oak Ridge, TN; Joe Shea and wife Kelly of Pinehurst, NC; Trish Shea of Albuquerque, NM; 13 grandchildren; and one great-grandchild.

In lieu of flowers the family requests donations in Leah's name to:

P.O. Box 803541, Dallas, TX 75380 • 972-267-LIFE (5433) •