Former Mineola Village Justice John O’Shea died on Nov. 11 at the age of 62.
“John and his family have lived in Mineola for 35 years,” Mineola Mayor Scott Strauss said. “The O’Shea family has lost a great husband and a great father. The Village of Mineola has lost a great jurist. We all have lost a great friend.”
O’Shea was appointed as Mineola’s village justice in 1995 and was elected in a special election the following year.
He leaves behind his wife, Kathleen, three daughters, Kaitlin, Colleen, and Maggie, and two grandsons, Jack and Liam.
“More important to Judge O’Shea than his profession was his family and friends. His wife Kathleen and daughters,” Strauss said. “He cherished his friends and extended family, but his wife and daughters were everything to him. He always proudly spoke of each of them.”
“If I had to describe my dad in a few words it would be loyal, honest, quick-witted, distinguished and a gentleman,” Kaitlin said. “He was a family man. He loved spending time with his family and most especially his grandsons. I think we can all agree Poppy was his most treasured title.”
O’Shea met Kathleen in 1976 and the two got married in August 1982. Two years later, they moved to Mineola to begin their family, and have been residents ever since.
O’Shea was special to not only his family but also his colleagues such as Strauss and Village Court Clerk Elizabeth Bernardes.
“Judge O’Shea was very well respected and well-liked. In turn, he had regard for anyone that came before him in the courtroom or outside of it,” Bernardes said. “ As a court clerk, I am not always treated with the same reverence as the judge is, but Judge O’Shea always had my back. He had an enormous love for his family. His eyes would light up speaking of his daughters and especially the newest additions to the family, his grandsons. They kept him going. It was a pleasure and an honor to work for Judge O’Shea. He is greatly missed.”
Aside from his tenure as village justice, O’Shea was a practicing attorney and an active member of the community. From coaching organized sports teams to holding positions in other village entities, O’Shea’s presence was felt throughout Mineola.
“From the first day of moving to Mineola he became involved in the community,” Strauss said. “He joined the Hampton Street School site-based management team. He was a coach for the Police Athletic League for softball and basketball and was deeply involved with the Corpus Christi Knights of Columbus. John also served on our library board as a trustee and president.”
“Mineola became home for my dad,” Kaitlin said. “He loved living here. He was proud to serve the residents of the village. He was proud to raise his family here.”