Julia (Sheila) Griffin, (nee O’Sullivan)
December 29, 1920 – September 10, 2019
Sheila passed away yesterday morning, a few months shy of her ninety-ninth birthday.
Sheila was one of the eight O’ Sullivan children who grew up in a large “public” house (her father was a publican) at the end of a picturesque pier outside Kenmare, Co. Kerry, Ireland. She entered nursing college at 18 in London, just prior to the declaration of war, and remained through the duration. She was a skilled nurse and was selected to serve on one of the triage teams for British servicemen at the casualty-clearing center for D-day. Those war memories haunted her for the remainder of her life.
Sheila returned to Ireland briefly in 1948 and immigrated to the US in December of that year. Sheila began life in NYC as a staff nurse at St Luke’s in Hell Kitchen living in the nurses’ dorm. She was the only member of her family to immigrate to the US so those first few years were frightening and lonely. In 1950 at an Irish dance hall on the Upper Eastside, she met Maurice Griffin. They were married in 1952 and had one child, Kathleen.
Sheila was one of the first “working mothers”. As a nurse for over 50 years, she had many thousands patients – an astounding contribution. However, what Sheila valued most was her family. She unselfishly gave her energy, time and love to her husband, Maurice (d, 1995), her daughter Kathleen and son in law John Stack, her grandchildren, Austin and Kathryn Stack. She remained close to her family in Ireland, and is survived only by her sister Bergie.
The past few years were more physically and mentally demanding but Sheila maintained her priorities-- to attend Mass every morning, and to have her hair done once a week.
Sheila, rest in peace.
Reposing Thursday, September 12th 2019 from 6-8 pm at Riverdale-on-Hudson Funeral Home, 6110 Riverdale Avenue, Bronx NY. Mass of Christian Burial Friday, September 13th 2019 at 11:00 am at St. Gabriel’s Church. Interment Gate of Heaven Cemetery.