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Alton J. Shea

Born: Sun., Jan. 11, 1914
Died: Sat., Jan. 17, 2015


2:00 PM to 3:00 PM, Sun., Jan. 25, 2015
Location: Houghton Wesleyan Church

Memorial Service

3:00 PM Sun., Jan. 25, 2015
Location: Houghton Wesleyan Church

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Music by The Piano Brothers

Houghton --- Alton James Shea of 9876 Luckey Drive passed away on Saturday, January 17, 2015, just six days after his 101st birthday. He was born on January 11, 1914 in Winchester, Ontario, Canada, the third son of the late Adam Joseph Shea and Maude Whitney Shea. He married Aileen Ortlip who predeceased him in 2007.

Rev. Shea and artist wife, Aileen, served Christ’s Kingdom in a variety of ways and places for over 60 years. Rev. Shea graduated from Houghton College in 1936 and began further theological studies at Biblical Seminary in New York City.  Alton and Aileen married in 1938 and commenced pastoral ministry at Gates Wesleyan Church, being ordained a minister in the Wesleyan Methodist denomination in 1940. Subsequently Pastor Shea served congregations in Painted Post, Canisteo, Houghton, Wellsville, Alfred, and Oramel, New York.

In 1970, after fourteen years of local church and weekly radio broadcast ministries in Wellsville, the Sheas traveled to Sierra Leone, West Africa to spend seven years in gospel radio production in several local languages for airing over Radio ELWA in Liberia.  Their lifelong ministry embraced preaching, singing, and chalk-art as well as pastoral work.  Rev. Shea had a life-long interest and prayer concern for God’s Kingdom at home and around the world.  He desired everyone to experience God’s love and care through a relationship with Christ Jesus.

Surviving are three children: Jonathan (Pat) Shea of Rock Hill, SC, Eila Shea of Belmont, Paul (Debbie) of Houghton, 5 grandchildren, 11 great-grandchildren, a sister, Ruth Willett of Dahlonega, GA, and several nieces and nephews.

He was pre-deceased by siblings Pauline Lusk, Whitney Shea, Mary Robinson, George Beverly Shea, Lois Wright, and Grace Baker.

Family and friends may gather from 2:00 to 3:00 p.m. on Sunday, January 25, 2015 at Houghton Wesleyan Church where a memorial service will be held at 3:00 p.m. Rev. Dr. Wes Oden will officiate.  Burial will be at Mt. Pleasant Cemetery, Houghton.

Memorials if desired to:  Wesleyan Christian College, Gbendembu, Sierra Leone through Houghton Wesleyan Church.

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Condolence Booklet

Judy Foss
   Posted Sun January 18, 2015
Thinking of all of you at this time of loss for us but gain for Heaven. We have the blessed assurance that Alton is with his Heavenly Father. My thought are especially with you, Eila.

Tim, Deb, and Priscilla
   Posted Mon January 19, 2015
We send our love and condolences to you at this sad time; we rejoice with you knowing he is now face to face with our Lord. Dear Uncle Alton was a precious man! With love, Tim, Deb, and Priscilla

Walt & Phyllis Dennis
   Posted Tue January 20, 2015
May God grant you comfort, peace and wonderful memories of a Godly man, who left a remarkable legacy.

Linfield Cross
   Posted Wed January 21, 2015


Memories of our beloved first pastor who through the years has been our example of the perfect love of Christ to us and all the world. Sending our love to the family,

Esther Ferm Mitchell
   Posted Wed January 21, 2015
On behalf of the Ferm family, please accept our condolences. Have so many fond memories of our next door neighbors. Also, remember meeting Aileen and Alton in Toronto prior to one of their trips to Africa for some good Chinese food and great fellowship.

Pastor Bob And Ruth Koenig .. Grace Baptist Church-Angola, Indiana
   Posted Wed January 21, 2015
Our love and prayers are with your family during this time in your life.
May God give you extra strength and joy knowing you will see him again in heaven.

James Wiggins
   Posted Sat January 24, 2015
Would like very much to be at the Memorial Service Sunday to share in our loss as well as
celebration of such a great and faithful Soldier of the Cross, and such an humble Servant
of his Master. This Saint was a great inspiration and blessing to me and my family. We feel indebted. To you and the Lord. Our love and prayers to Jon,Paul and Eila!
Rev. Jim Wiggins

Lowell J & Polly H Mix
   Posted Sun January 25, 2015
We want to express our sympathies to all the Shea family for your personal loss in the passing of your father and grandfather. At the same time we can rejoice knowing that he has now achieved the goal that he always lived for by being in the presence of our God and Savior with his wife, and he has a new and perfect body that no longer needs to be medicated or handled with care and it is free of all restrictions. His legacy is great and I trust that will be a solace to you in the days ahead as you follow in his footsteps. We regret we were unable to attend his memorial service today, but we celebrated his memory anyway through prayer for all the Shea family members, and by listening to a Reader's Digest album of 60 hymns sung by George Beverly Shea.

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