James "Bob" Robert Sheehy, Sr.
James "Bob" Robert Sheehy, Sr.
August 16, 1930 - December 2, 2012
James Robert (Bob) Sheehy, Sr.
August 16, 1930 Ė December 2, 2012
Former Waco Mayor Bob Sheehy passed away Sunday, December 2, 2012. A Mass of Christian Burial will be held 10 a.m. Saturday, December 8, at St. Louis Catholic Church. Burial will follow at Oakwood Cemetery.
On Friday evening, December 7, rosary will be recited at 6:00 and a visitation to follow at 6:30 at Oakcrest Funeral Home, 4520 Bosque Boulevard.
Bob was born in Waco to John and Herma Jelinek Sheehy on August 16, 1930. He was raised in Waco and graduated from Waco High School. He continued his education at New Mexico Military Institute, graduating at the top of his class. Bob attended the University of Texas and then Baylor University, from which he received his law degree. He married Zoe Ann Reese on January 30, 1954. After serving in the Air Force, Bob and Zoe Ann moved back to Waco in 1958 where he joined his father and brother in the practice of law. He would go on to become a partner in the firm of Sheehy, Lovelace and Mayfield where he practiced for many years.
Bob always enjoyed being around family and friends. He loved family gatherings, playing with his children and grandchildren. Easters would find him attached to a grandchild hunting eggs. Bob and Zoe Ann took great pleasure in hosting friends and family on Christmas Eve for many years. They also became fixtures on the tennis courts of Waco and loved spending leisure hours at the beach.
Following his fatherís example, Bob began a legacy of service to the Waco community. His father believed that you do your best to help make your community a better place and Bobís life of service embodied this belief. He joined the Waco Jaycees and served as chapter President. As part of his Jayceesí involvement, he went on to serve as President of the Texas Jaycees. His experiences with the Jaycees formed the foundation of service leadership that he brought to the community.
In 1965, he was named to the Charter Board of Trustees of McLennan Community College. As part of the founding board, he was instrumental in establishing the College and overseeing the building of the campus overlooking the Bosque River, including the passage of the bond issue that provided the funding to build the college. He served as a Trustee for 13 years. The success of MCC in providing educational opportunities for the community has always been a source of great pride for him.
Bob was elected to the Waco City Council in 1991. He was elected Mayor in 1992 and served two terms. As Mayor, Bob was known as a consensus builder who worked with all areas of the city to bring people together. During his tenure, a formal system of neighborhood associations was established to ensure all residents were included in an association. This system of associations was one of the first of its kind and still functions today. His term was also marked with tragedy, as he was called to represent the city during the Branch Davidian siege outside of Waco. The calming presence Bob presented as the city was flooded by international attention helped Waco survive the global spotlight.
When the opportunity arose for Waco to obtain the Texas Sports Hall of Fame in 1990, Bob joined a group of community leaders in successfully negotiating the relocation of the Hall to Waco.
Bobís faith was always with him. He served St. Louis School as a board member and helped establish St. Louis Catholic Church. He served Reicher Catholic High School, both as a school board member and as co-chair of the Reicher Renaissance campaign to expand the school. In addition, he served for several years on the board of Providence Hospital.
He also was actively involved in his profession. Besides being a member of various bar associations, he was a member of the Defense Research Institute and was recognized by DRI with the Fred H. Seivert Award as an outstanding defense bar leader. He was a member of the Texas Association of Defense Counsel (TADC) and served a term as its President.
Bob was preceded in death by his wife, Zoe Ann, his parents and a sister, Patsy Sheehy.
He is survived by his children: Bob Sheehy, Jr. and wife, Kay, Jeff Sheehy and spouse, Bill Berry, Matt Sheehy and wife, Celeste, Jack Sheehy and wife, Laurie, Laura Sheehy and Patrick Sheehy; as well as ten grandchildren: Bobby Sheehy and wife, Scotti, Cathy Sheehy, Amy Sheehy, Jason Sheehy and wife, Phylicia, Justin Sheehy, Josh Sheehy, Jeremy Sheehy, Joshua Landon Sheehy, Jonathan Sheehy and Michelle Berry. Bob is also survived by his brother, John Sheehy, Jr. and his sisters, Norma Rhodes and Joanne Hoover and husband Cameron.
Memorials may be made to the J. Robert Sheehy Scholarship at the McLennan Community College Foundation, 1400 College Drive, Waco, TX 76708; Reicher Catholic High School, 2102 N. 23rd, Waco, TX 76708 or Providence Hospital Foundation, 6901 Medical Parkway, Waco, TX 76712.
The family would like to express our gratitude to the caring staff of Wesley Woods; also Dr. Rachel Doody and her staff at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston. We also extend a special thanks to Dr. Mary Kenan, whose compassion and care for our entire family will always be cherished.