Shrewsbury - Anyone that knew Pat Heald knows she had a terrific sense of humor, a contagious laugh and the most wonderful, affable and natural ability to gab and engage virtually anyone in her company. It was a gift but so was Pat Heald!
Patricia Mary Dulligan was born on April 11, 1942 in Worcester one of three daughters to the late Col. John F. ‘Frank’ and Rita M. (Connor) Dulligan. Raised in Watertown she often spoke of life as the daughter of an Army Colonel. It was not always easy, but it was a house full of love at 15 Robbins Road tempered with stern discipline and expectation. A graduate of Watertown High School with the class of 1960 she met St. Albans, Vermont native Stephen W. Heald on a blind date one New Year’s Eve…and the rest is history. They married in her home parish The Church of Saint Patrick in Watertown on November 5, 1966. She gave the Vermont way of living a try for a bit but they returned to Massachusetts and made Shrewsbury home for over fifty-four years since 1969.
Pat died unexpectedly but peacefully on Friday, October 13, 2023. She was 81.
Her obituary needs not to read of places where she worked nor the countless organizations and activities to which she belonged. She did this to support Dad and raise five children, but it also gave her a sense of belonging and purpose outside the home. Ask anyone from the numerous places she worked, and they would easily agree that she was undoubtedly one of the most loved employees. In later years, Pat was a familiar face aside her twin sons, Jim and John in funeral service. She was the familiar and comforting greeter, assistant extraordinaire and ever so proud mother.
Pat, Patty, Mother, Patricia, Momma Bear…simply the best. Our best cheerleader and number one advocate she was strong and ever-present. Her heart and mind were filled with an unconditional love, and steadfast loyalty to those whom she loves. The role of mother suited her perfectly. And equally lucky and blessed...she was our friend! Patty will forever be remembered by her ten grandchildren as the cool ‘Grammie’ with a wild sense of humor and giggle, a loveable and strong hug, a guaranteed Patty’ism in conversation, and the forever fashionista in her own matchy-match look but the best Grammie they came to know, adore and love.
Pat’s passion for reading was borderline addiction. She was never ever without a good read, a suggestion, a book to swap or a story to share about what she’d just read. She loved to be in her chair at any beach, toes in the sand, a swim in the water and the company of family or friends while taking in the sun and scents of an ocean breeze.
The other constant force in her life was her faith which came from strong Catholic parents. While she often struggled with some the teachings of the church, she knew in her soul it is and should remain a place where 'All Are Welcome'. She loved Saint Mary's Parish and friended many both clergy and parishioner. Over the last several years she would happily drive to St. Cecilia to the 9:30 Mass where she would tell everyone 'I needed that...it was food for my soul.'
Widowed on September 28, 2009, her faith reminded her that life had changed not ended. She moved to Westbrook Crossings where she quickly warmed to her new neighbors and the community. She just loved living there and it was the perfect fit as home for the last chapters of her life. Connie Bartelson’s ‘Senior Sweats’ classes each week also kept her young at heart (and body) while gabbing it up with the girls.
She leaves her children, Stephen W. Heald, Jr. (Cathy) of Amesbury, Mary E. Holden (Charles) of Hopkinton, James D. Heald of Boston, John M. Heald (Kathryn) and Katherine R. Heald, all of Shrewsbury; her grandchildren, Matthew Heald (Mary Ryan), Erin Heald, Patrick Heald (Autumn Hannon), Bailey Heald (Nicole Ertle), Isabel, Madeleine and Charlotte Holden, Emma and Ellie Heald, and Alexis Heald and the late Meghan Heald; her sisters-in-law, Sandra Pratt (Robert), Sheila Heald McManus (Charlie) and Margaret 'Peg' Heald; many nieces and nephews as well as numerous Connor cousins with whom she remained close all her life.
Family and friends will honor and remember Pat's life by gathering for calling hours from 4:00 – 7:00 p.m. on Thursday, October 19th in Saint Mary's Church, 640 Main Street, Shrewsbury. Her funeral Mass will be celebrated at 10 a.m. Friday in the church. Burial will follow in Mountain View Cemetery, Shrewsbury.
Those wishing to view the broadcast (and recording) of Pat's Mass please use this link: https://my.gather.app/remember/patricia-heald
Memorials in Pat's name may be made to Saint Mary's Parish, 18 Summer Street, Shrewsbury, MA 01545 https://www.stmarysparish.org or Saint Cecilia’s Parish, 18 Belvidere Street, Boston, MA 02115 https://www.stceciliaboston.org.
Arrangements by James & John Heald of The Joyce Funeral Home, 245 Main Street, Waltham.