Tim was raised on a farm in northwest Iowa, the eighth of nine children born to Roman and Vivian Shea.
He graduated from Spalding Catholic School in Granville where he excelled at baseball and forensic debate, winning state championships in both.
He credited his Catholic education and rural upbringing for many of his achievements. He attended the University of Iowa, where he rarely missed a Hawkeye football game. Tim graduated from the University of Iowa College of Dentistry in 1982.
A fellow student, Rebecca (Nelson) became his wife and trusted friend of 33 years. The two welcomed their first child, Isaiah, in 1980.
Tim and Rebecca were commissioned as Lieutenants in the U.S. Navy in 1982. Following the well-worn path of "East Coast" Navy dentists, Tim's early career took the family from Great Lakes Naval Base, Ill., (adding daughter Erin to the family) to Virginia Beach, Va. (where Molly completed the family.) Among the highlights of his long, rewarding career were cruises in the North Atlantic and Mediterranean, a tour in Iraq in 2007, and the honor of recognition as an honorary U.S. Navy Chief.
He served as Branch Director for the Naval Supply Corps School in Athens, G.,A and the Mine Warfare Training Center in Ingleside, Texas. He also served as the Director of the Medical/Dental Health Clinic at the Joint Reserve Base, NAS Willow Grove, Pa., before concluding his career with a second tour at Cherry Point MCAS.
In June 2012 Tim officially retired after 30 years of service.
Although his profession carried him far from his native state, he was proud of his family and roots. He made annual visits to Iowa and to his own heaven on earth, the Boundary Waters Canoe Area in northern Minnesota. Tim shared his enthusiasm for fishing and wilderness camping with family and friends, young and old.
Tim's family is extremely grateful for all the support and care shown them throughout his struggle with cancer.
He is survived by his wife, Rebecca Nelson-Shea, of New Bern; two daughters, Erin Shea of Eveleth, Minn., and Molly Shea, of Greenville, N.C.; and a son, Isaiah Shea, daughter-in-law, Anke, and granddaughter, Matilda, of Morristown, N.J.
A memorial service will be held Friday, Nov. 16 at 2 pm, at the Base Chapel, Cherry Point MCAS. Visiting hours will be Thursday, Nov. 15 from 6-8 p.m. at the family home.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the June E. Nylen Cancer Center, 230 Nebraska St., Sioux City, Iowa, 51101.
This facility was established as a non-profit organization in 1995, a joint venture between the Cancer Centers at Marian Health Center and St. Luke's Regional Medical Center, both in Sioux City. Mike Shea, brother of Tim Shea, has worked there a total of 26 years as a Medical Dosimetrist in radiation oncology.
Arrangements are by Cotten Funeral Home & Crematory, New Bern, N.C.
Online condolences may be made to the Shea family at www.cottenfuneralhome.com