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Arlene P. Shea, church organist, retired Water Division dispatcher

Feb. 12, 1930 – May 29, 2016

Arlene P. Shea, of South Buffalo, a church organist and a retired dispatcher for the City of Buffalo Division of Water, died Sunday in Hospice Buffalo, Cheektowaga. She was 86.

Born in Buffalo, the former Arlene Parlato was a graduate of Bennett High School and attended Fredonia State College and Canisius College. She began her career with the Buffalo Board of Education in the 1970s and was secretary to former School Superintendent Eugene Reville before transferring to the Division of Water. She retired in 1992.

A life member of St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic Church, Mrs. Shea was past president and vice president of the Altar and Rosary Society and served as a eucharistic minister.

A gifted keyboardist, she was organist at St. Thomas Aquinas for many years and volunteered as accompanist for plays and musicals at the church and in South Buffalo high schools. She also was a piano teacher.

She was a member of the Daughters of Erin and the Catholic Daughters of America, Monsignor Baker Court 1043.

She enjoyed traveling, was an avid gardener and had a deep affection for animals. She and her husband of 43 years, John J., a retired teacher, maintained a winter home in Ocala, Fla., until his death in 1999.

Survivors include two daughters, Mary and Maureen Murphy; two sons, Michael and Jeremiah; and a granddaughter.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be offered at 9:30 a.m. Wednesday, June 1, in St. Thomas Aquinas Church, 450 Abbott Road.