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TOWNSEND — Ruth E. (Varnum) Shea, 97, died Friday evening at the Life Care Center of Leominster. She was the wife of the late Christopher Shea who died in 1963.

Mrs. Shea was born April 1, 1909, in Lowell, a daughter of Roy and Edith (Don) Varnum and she resided many years in the Lowell and Chelmsford areas and later Asbury, New Jersey, before moving to Townsend 22 years ago.

Mrs. Shea worked as a bookkeeper for the Beverly Shoe Company and Lowell Lingerie until her retirement in 1971. She was a member of the Townsend Golden-Agers.

Mrs. Shea is survived by a son, Michael F. Shea of Fitchburg, her former daughter-in-law, Patricia Shea, with whom she resided in Townsend, and four grandchildren: Christopher P. Shea, Shawn M. Shea, Patrick R. Shea and Courtney M. Shea. She also leaves three great-grandchildren: Abigael Shea, Liam Shea and Kyla Shea.

She was the sister of the late Clifford Varnum and Thomas Varnum.

A funeral service was held on Tuesday at the T.J. Anderson and Son Funeral Home, 250 Main St. (Rt. 119) Townsend Center, followed by burial at St. Patrick’s Cemetery in Lowell.

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