Rita Marie Sheehan

November 27, 1924March 23, 2021

Rita Marie Sheehan, 96, died peacefully on March 23, 2021 with her loving daughters at her side. Born in River Rouge, Michigan to Jerry and Edna (Laginess) Gagneau, she was the beloved wife of the late Daniel Patrick Sheehan. She was the cherished mother of Janet (Frank) Sheehan-Quinn, Danita (Dennis) Sheehan-Weir, Patricia (Jack Sheehan-Armstrong (both deceased), Nancy (Jim Sheehan-McCulloch) as well as loving "Mimi" to many grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

Rita will be missed and remembered as a devout Catholic, a kind, patient, strong, and adventurous soul that found joy in learning, traveling, and caring for her family. Here fondest memories include winning the Latin medal in high school, her husband’s return from World War II as an Army Air Force fighter pilot stationed in Japan, and summers at Mullet Lake with family and friends.

A mass of Christian burial will be celebrated at St. Colette Catholic Church in Livonia at 11:30 a.m. on April 10, 2021 with visitation at 11:00 a.m.

Memorial contributions may be sent to Saint Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital - 262 Danny Thomas Place, Memphis, Tennessee 38105 (

Please share a memory of Mrs. Sheehan or condolences with her family at her online guest book below.


  • Visitation at Church

    Saturday, April 10, 2021

  • Funeral Mass

    Saturday, April 10, 2021


Rita Marie Sheehan

have a memory or condolence to add?

Brenda Hawley

April 9, 2021

John and I send our condolences to all the family, especially Danita, Aunt Nan and Aunt Janet. We did not know Rita well but were impressed by her obvious elegance, quiet strength and the respect she received from her family. Love and sympathy to you all.
Brenda & John Hawley, New Zealand

Dylan Valade

April 7, 2021

With the exception of weddings and celebrations, my memories of Aunt Rita are at the cottage.

During the three summers after high school when I worked at Sheplers in Mackinaw there was a lot of time to sit with Rita on her porch or the dock and talk. She would listen and tell stories about her childhood and our family. Her life and summers revolved around her daughters and grandchildren.

It was fun to always have people of all ages coming and going. She loved playing games, especially Scrabble and she memorized all of the two letter words which made it impossible for me to win. Late in the day she would often put on her bathing suit, find a noodle or inner tube and wade into the lake even if it was chilly. Rita spent more time swimming than most of us and that always inspired me to get into the water and appreciate that time together. To this day, when I’m standing at a shoreline and not sure it’s worth getting wet, my mind whispers “what would Rita do?” and I dive in.

With love, Dylan