Leo Stephen Shiel – Burrillville

Leo Stephen Shiel – Burrillville

Leo Stephen Shiel of Glendale, R.I., passed away peacefully with his beloved family at his side on Thursday, December 7, at Rhode Island Hospital after a brief illness. He was the husband of the late Margaret M. "Peg" Kennedy who died in 2004 after being married for 50 years.

Leo was born in Ireland on July 8, 1933, to the late Peter and Ellen Shiel (Wickham). He came to the U.S. in 1951. After serving in the Air Force he became a U.S. citizen.

A proud member of the Woonsocket Fire Department, Leo achieved the rank of Lieutenant before retiring in 1986. Driving was one of Leo's passions and he enjoyed working as a limousine driver and most recently at Traveler's Transit in Woonsocket retiring at the ripe young age of 80.

Fondly known as "The Leprechaun" Leo devoted his time to many service organizations most importantly the Woonsocket Lodge of Elks #850. He held many different positions within the Elks organization including Past Exalted Ruler, Past District Deputy, ENF Chairman, state trustee and coach for the ritual team. For the past 26 years, Leo organized the annual St. Patrick's day party to benefit the Elks Scholarship fund.

He was a devoted parishioner of St. Charles Church where he served as a lector, former member of the choir, and a volunteer at Bryan's Food Pantry. Holidays were his favorite especially when spent surrounded by family and friends. He loved being Santa Claus for the annual fire department and Elks Christmas parties. Leo loved to travel and had the honor of experiencing his homeland, Ireland, with all of his children and grandchildren. Leo had a distinctive Irish lilt and could be heard every Thursday on radio station WOON.

An avid golfer, who loved the 19th hole, Leo was an original member of the Ho-Ho golf league. He was an amazing man who brought a lot of wisdom, knowledge, joy, and laughter to so many people.

He is survived by three daughters Kathleen Fernandes (Robert), Mary Shiel-L'Esperance (Robert), and Colleen Rondeau (Scott). He was blessed with nine grandchildren, Tara Gamache, Tanya Fernandes, Rocky Fernandes, Katelyn Lambert, Ryan Fernandes, Daniel L'Esperance, Timothy L'Esperance, Kelsey Rondeau, and Mackenzie Rondeau. He is also survived by five great-grandsons.

Surviving siblings include: Eamon (Pete) Shiel of Canada, Mary Costello and Liz Shiel of Ireland. He was predeceased by siblings Margaret Franklin, Padrick Shiel, and Michael Shiel.

Leo also leaves behind his beloved lady friend, Ida Connolly. Leo leaves behind an enormous circle of friends who over the years, became family.

Arrangements were entrusted to the Keene-Brown Funeral Home, 445 Greenville Road, North Smithfield. Funeral mass and burial was held at St. Charles Church and Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, please make donations to the Woonsocket PER Association and note "Scholarship Fund" in the memo line. To honor Leo's sense of adventure, remember to try something new and live every day to the fullest.

Visit www.brownfuneralhomes.com .