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O’SHEA, MARY EILEEN

Mary Eileen O’Shea, born December 8, 1954, died September 3, 2020. Preceded in death by parents, Tommy and Rita Mae, and brother Patrick (Christine). Greatly loved and missed by spouse Mike Beckman, sons Ben Beckman (Ali Day) and Jake Beckman (Lizzy Hindman-Harvey), grandchildren Anders, Cleo, and Skyler, siblings Kathy (Scott) Meyer, Patty, Kevin (Mary), and Timmy, as well as many nieces, nephews, friends, and colleagues.

Mary grew up in Akron, Ohio and attended Saint Mary’s High School. She graduated from Cleveland State University with a BA in Philosophy, and later completed coursework in non-profit management studies at the Mandel Center for Nonprofit Organizations at Case Western Reserve University.

Mary held positions of leadership at the Cleveland Food Co-op, later moving to Planned Parenthood of Northeast Ohio to serve as the Director of Public Policy. At the Greater Cleveland Foodbank, she pushed for food equity in our region as the Director of Advocacy and Public Education, fighting for policy and legislative support in Columbus and Washington, DC.

Mary loved gardening, walking, being with her grandkids, and just hanging out with her husband Mike, partner for 32 years. She was a wonderful writer and editor, accomplished in things as disparate as poetry and opinion pieces. She drew inspiration and joy from the people she worked with, whose energy, enthusiasm, and commitment were a constant source of pride and delight. In all of her various roles, she worked to support and mentor many people in their careers. Her quick wit, deep wisdom, and knack for compassionately sharing a hard truth were a great gift to those lucky enough to know her.

Mary had many friends, and a few very special close ones on whom she relied for support, encouragement, and advice. She had a loving relationship with her family, about whom she cared very much. She felt a special bond with her younger sister Patty, her “Irish Twin.”

Mary was an untiring advocate for people’s right to healthcare and nutrition. Her passion for fairness and justice led her to take part in many activities, including the Central America Solidarity Commitee, abortion rights causes, and activities in support of social and economic justice in the region and beyond.
The family welcomes thoughts and memories below. In lieu of flowers or gifts, please remember Mary with contributions to the Greater Cleveland Food Bank ( www.clevelandfoodbank.org ) or Planned Parenthood (www.plannedparenthood.org). A forthcoming celebration of Mary’s life will be planned for a future date. Check back for more details or register to receive an email announcement regarding that ceremony by copying and pasting in browser https://forms.gle/MZdbeaVWP4rhwonw6
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Cat. Ciha (Sep 08, 2020)
It was an honor to work with Mary during her time on the Council on Older Persons. She not only was a passionate and skilled advocate, she convinced you that being an advocate was the most joyful opportunity in the world. I hope that the blessings of her energy and spirit bring comfort to her family and friends.
John Corlett (Sep 09, 2020)
I had the privilege of working as a volunteer with Mary during her time at Planned Parenthood and the Greater Cleveland Food Bank. She was always extraordinarily kind, skilled, and accomplished in her work. Through her efforts; she improved the lives of thousands of Ohioans. I will cherish my many memories of her smile, her sense of humor, and her willingness to always jump in and try to fix a problem. My deepest condolences to her beloved family and her many friends.
Susan Tisdale (Sep 09, 2020)
It was an honor to know and work with Mary. Mary was a very smart and quick witted person, she was the perfect person to discuss current events with. We always shared stories about our grandchildren. When Mary retired, we would see each other at Heinen's and she would glowingly catch me up on her grandchildren. I will miss those chance encounters. Sending love and prayers to Mike and the entire family.
Tara Broderick (Sep 09, 2020)
Sincerest condolences to Mike, Ben, Jake and family. I worked with Mary at Planned Parenthood of Greater Cleveland and Planned Parenthood of NE Ohio. In the PP archives, there was a great picture of Mary (in her 20s) at a reproductive rights protest. I hold this image in my mind as I reflect on Mary’s life-long devotion to social justice. Mary was smart and had a huge heart!
Iris Harvey (Sep 11, 2020)
Condolences to Mary's family. We at Planned Parenthood of Greater Ohio appreciate her long time support of reproductive health and Planned Parenthood. Her work was beneficial to our patients and continued to ensure women in need had access to care.
Sue and Jeff Forman (Sep 12, 2020)
Dear Mike and family,
We are so very sorry for your loss. Please accept our deepest sympathy, and know that our thoughts and prayers are with you all at this difficult time.
John Fleshin (Sep 12, 2020)
So Sorry Mike--

I am so happy you and yours have had the pleasure of her company, and I hope the family is of wonderful comfort in these tough times --
Regards, John
Sarah Miller (Sep 13, 2020)
We are so sorry to learn of Mary's loss. What a great gift she gave in her support for woman's rights in reproduction and freedom from hunger.We are grateful to have known her. Her neiborhood will miss her.
Judy Goral (Sep 13, 2020)
Dear Mike and family,

You are in my prayers. My deepest condolences for your loss.
Rupert Emerson (Sep 15, 2020)
Mike,

I have known you for years and I observed your love for Mary and your dedication to her You two have done so much together and had so many more plans for the future. She was a wonderful woman who spent her life involved with good causes. I know you will miss her deeply,

Rupert

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