Longtime Edgemont resident Gerard “Rod” O’Shea died Sept. 9 on his 53rd wedding anniversary, at his second home in Florida, from complications attributed to myasthenia gravis.
Born Nov. 3, 1933 in Brooklyn, the youngest of seven children, to Michael and Sarah O’Shea, he graduated from LaSalle Academy and served in the Air Force during the Korean War as a cryptographer. After discharge he continued his education at St John’s University (B.A.) and Columbia Teachers College (MAT). During the 1960s he taught speech and drama, and produced plays at Scarsdale High School. In 1967 he married Madelon Kavey, retired from public school teaching, and started Gerard P. O’Shea Associates Inc., the communications company he ran for the next 45 years.
In the early 1980s Mr. O’Shea wrote “The New Reading,” which established him as a nationally recognized reading expert. The book was followed by several others, including a series of how to effectively coach kids to play youth sports. For more than 25 years, Mr. O’Shea and his wife had local weekly radio shows on WFAS radio in White Plains; their program was “Talking With Rod O’Shea” and “Mr. Open Nighter.”
Known as a firm believer in giving back to his community, Mr. O’Shea served as president and treasurer of The Edgemont Association; chairman of The Council of Greenburgh Civic Associations; and on town committees too numerous to name. In recognition of his years of dedicated service, he and his wife received the Edgemont Community Council’s Silver Box community service award. He was very active in veterans affairs, made written contributions to various veterans publications, served on the Veterans Service Advisory Board of Westchester County and worked to help raise money for Canines for Combat Veterans and wounded warrior groups.
His family said he was most proud of the work he did to help create memorials to Gold Star Mothers and to gain recognition for noncitizen mothers into Gold Star Mothers in America. He was a proud member of 2285 VFW and American Legion 979. He also belonged to the Korean War Vets and the DAV.
His family said he loved his little piece of heaven in Florida, and he valued his family time over everything else. He rarely missed a game, a performance or an opportunity to spend time with his children. The family said he really lived a full, active, erudite life.
Rod is survived by his wife Madelon; his sons Mitchell (Lisa) and James (Elisha); his daughter Michele-Ann (Matt); and grandchildren Morgan, Kevin, Allison, Acelyn, Makenna, Eleanor and Samuel. He was predeceased by all of his siblings.
Burial, with military honors, was in Florida National Cemetery. Donations, in lieu of flowers, may be made to Eastchester Veterans Foundation, 433 White Plains Road, Eastchester, NY; Fisher House at James J. Peters VA Hospital, Bronx, NY; or a veterans group of the donor’s choice.