Francene O’Hara Shipps
Francene O’Hara Shipps, 80, of Watertown, MA., passed away at her home in Watertown
surrounded by family on July 11, 2021. Francene grew up in Dorchester, then resided in
Stoughton and Quincy for many years before moving to Watertown.
Francene was born in Boston, MA. to Francis T. O’Hara and Rita A. Johnson O’Hara on May 22,
1941. She attended grade school and high school at Saint Patrick’s School in Roxbury and
graduated in 1959. Francene worked part time at various positions while raising five children
with her husband, William M. Shipps, who passed away in 1991. She then worked in the
Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education from 1986 to 2010, when
she retired. After retirement, Francene enjoyed working as a poll worker during elections and
spending time with her family.
Francene is preceded in death by her parents, Francis and Rita; brothers, Thomas, John and
Joseph O’Hara; and her husband, William M. Shipps.
Francene is survived by her daughters and their spouses, Marie and Ralph Mele, Linda and
Joseph Daley, Julie Shipps Friedman and Rick Romaine, Renee and Robert Burns and her son
William M. Shipps Jr. She is survived by her eight grandchildren and their spouses; Erika and
Perry Pappas, Joanne and Jesie Rebell, Ralph D. and Meghan Mele, Jessica Mele and Justin
Eccles, Kathryn and Scott Burchfield, David and Katherine Shipps-Kelly, and Benjamin Burns.
She is also survived by her six, soon to be seven great-grandchildren; Meredith Rebell, Penelope
Rebell, Alexandra Pappas, Mary Pappas, Ralph D. Mele jr., Victor Joseph Burchfield and a
special little one arriving soon, who is yet to be named.
Wake and prayer service will be held at Boston Cremation, 116 Franklin St Quincy,
MA 02169 on Friday, July 30, 2021, from 9:00 am – 11:00 am.
A Funeral Mass will be held at Saint Patrick’s Church in Watertown, 212 Main St.,
Watertown, MA. 02472, on Saturday, July 31, 2021 at 11:30 am.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests charitable donations be made to: Thrive Communities
(https://www.thrivema.org). Francene was always looking for ways to help those
transitioning from incarceration to public society and this organization supports restorative
reentry for men and women in the Boston area.
The family wishes to extend their gratitude to all our family and friends who have offered
support and condolences during this difficult time. Your kindness and caring are so appreciated.
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