Denise Ann (Geaney) O'Shea

October 29, 1946 ~ October 11, 2023 (age 76) 76 Years Old

Denise O'Shea Obituary

Denise Ann O’Shea, 76, of Chicago, IL, passed away on October 11th, 2023 after a long battle with severe illness. Denise was born in Chicago, IL on October 29th, 1946 to Daniel and Mary Geaney.

Her parents immigrated to the US from Ireland through Ellis Island during the 1920’s and found each other, settling in Chicago, and were inseparable ever since. Mom told us many stories of her parents including how her dad was a guard at Ellis Island and calmed the fears of immigrants coming to a new land for better opportunities, just as he did a number of years prior, and how he compassionately held the victims of the Our Lady of Angels school fire while working as an x-ray technician at Cook County hospital. She would boast about all the home cooked meals that her mother would make, how she made ammunition for WWII, and how she once chased a robber out of their apartment corridor with a fire poker. She grew up on the west side of Chicago with her brother Danny and her family made the Irish progression as it was called by Catholic parish to the north side. As a young girl, she spent many summers in Ireland with her grandma and grandpa and enjoyed the animals, giving them all a name. If she could take them home with her back across the Atlantic, she would have.

She received her Bachelor’s degree in education from Loyola University Chicago (Go Ramblers). After college, she went on to be a teacher for 37 years, first at St. Wenceslaus for 11 years where she met her best friend Dee and then Queen of All Saints for 26 years where she had her partner in crime Joanie, taking a few years off in between to raise her two young children, Michael and Erin. Her students were always fond of what she taught from newsbeats, to learning all the steps of mummification and toilet papering each other in the process, and basketball jeopardy. Many students came back over the years to visit, thank her, and say how she prepared them for high school and college. She received a number of Golden Apple nominations, which demonstrated her love and dedication to her students. She retired from teaching in 2014 when her first grandchild, Danny, was born as she was adamant about taking care of him.

Her two children, Michael and Erin, were her world. She taught them to work hard for everything and sacrificed to make sure they had the best education possible and everything they needed, all while being a single mom. She was at every t-ball/baseball game and attended each Irish dancing competition that she could, from feis to World Championship, and reminded her children to do their best and most importantly have fun doing it. Mom had what she called a lead foot and passed that life skill to her son and daughter. She also enjoyed packing as much in on vacations and indicated that sleep could happen when we were home. She made a mean chicken and dumplings dinner that was always devoured by her children.

She went on to have three grandchildren, Danny, Patrick, and Maeve. She loved seeing pictures/videos of whatever they were up to, telling them stories, sewing Halloween costumes until her fingers were numb, hearing stories about their school and activities, and taped all their works of art all over her house. Even near the end, she would turn on the baby channel for Maeve to have dance parties by her bed in the den where she spent her final days. She also had two granddogs, Molly Mae O’Shea and Riley Mae O’Shea, both with the same middle name that she picked, who were never underfed and knew who to sit by during dinnertime.

As a lifelong Cubs fan, she was over the moon when they won in 2016. She would also have no problem indicating when they played terrible, which was quite frequent as of recent times, and preferred to listen to the game on the radio to no other than the Cub’s radio voice, Pat Hughes.

She took her last breath on October 11th, just as the bells of St. Mary’s rang in the neighborhood at 6 pm, and was surrounded by her family in her home.

Denise was preceded in death by her parents Dan and Mary (nee Bowles) Geaney and her brother Daniel Jr. Geaney. She is survived by her son Michael (Rachel), her daughter Erin (Mike) LaRocco, and her grandchildren Danny, Patrick, and Maeve LaRocco.

We are certain she is having a new adventure with her best friend Dee, feeding Molly Mae filet and a full Irish breakfast, and having a cup of tea with her mom and dad (our nana and papa) all while dancing a jig in heaven.

Per our mom’s wishes, and you don’t go against an Irish mother’s wishes, she asked that the services be private to immediate family members only. In lieu of flowers, we ask that donations be made to Wright-Way Rescue.

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