Honoring the Munro Family Legacy – Patricia Sheehan

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Patricia Sheehan at the re-dedication of Munro Hall at Training Center Cape May in 1989. (Photo courtesy of CDR Douglas Sheehan, USCGR, Ret.)
Patricia Sheehan at the re-dedication of Munro Hall at Training Center Cape May in 1989. (Photo courtesy of CDR Douglas Sheehan, USCGR, Ret.)

The Coast Guard lost a true friend and a member of one of the service’s most recognizable families with the passing of Patricia Sheehan. Sheehan, the daughter of World War II SPAR Edith Munro and sister of the Coast Guard’s only Medal of Honor recipient, Douglas Munro, passed away peacefully at her home last Friday at the age of 93. Sheehan’s connection to our service went far beyond the name Munro; she was family.

Patricia and Douglas Munro as children (Photo courtesy of CDR Douglas Sheehan, USCGR, Ret.)
Douglas and Patricia Munro as children. (Photo courtesy of CDR Douglas Sheehan, USCGR, Ret.)

The Eighth Master Chief Petty Officer of the Coast Guard, Vince Patton, was known to call her “mom” and was deeply impacted by Sheehan’s love for the Coast Guard.

“Pat told me that, had the Coast Guard accepted women at the time she was old enough and if she wasn’t busy raising her young family, she too would have followed in her mother and brother’s footsteps. Instead, she was extremely delighted when her son, who was named after her brother, Douglas Sheehan, joined the Coast Guard Reserve, later retiring as a Commander. To Pat, it made her feel that she maintained her connection with the service that she had learned to love by both her mother and brother.”

Sheehan lived life to the fullest. She played tennis to the age of 80 and taught bridge up until two weeks before her passing. She traveled the country promoting the history of the service and the significant role the Coast Guard played in World War II. Her contributions will live on as a part of Coast Guard history. She played a pivotal role in turning Munro Hall at Training Center Cape May into a living tribute connecting the Coast Guard’s past with its future through the donation of her time, her memories, and family keepsakes from her brother and mother.

Patricia Sheehan with RADM Sally Brice-O'Hara, her son CDR Douglas Sheehan and his wife, Susanne, at the 2008 dedication of the Coast Guard Memorial in Hawaii. (Photo courtesy of CDR Douglas Sheehan, USCGR, Ret.)
Patricia Sheehan with RADM Sally Brice-O'Hara, her son CDR Douglas Sheehan and his wife, Susanne, at the 2008 dedication of the Coast Guard Memorial in Hawaii. (Photo courtesy of CDR Douglas Sheehan, USCGR, Ret.)

“She always loved the Coast Guard, and had a deep appreciation for the work and sacrifices of everyone in the Coast Guard Family,” Retired CDR Douglas Sheehan (USCGR) recalls. “All the Coast Guard people she ever met treated her with extraordinary respect, and she always tried to return the favor.  She always made a special contribution to every ceremony she attended.  We have all lost a wonderful member of our family.”

Patricia, the Coast Guard will miss you. Fair winds and following seas.

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