Died January 9, 2006

Margaret SheaMargaret Shea, a charter member of the Nashville Music City ARMA Chapter, passed away on January 9th, 2006. Chapter members, and others that knew Margaret, lost a wonderful friend, dedicated and very active chapter member, and a true Records Management professional. Her sister, Helen, said “She is confident that Margaret would be thrilled to know the ARMA Chapter is setting up this educational memorial in her honor. She was a great believer in furthering one’s education. She often said her happiest days were while she was going to school.”
Margaret graduated from Cathedral High School and did not have an opportunity to go directly to college. But as opportunities came along she took courses when she could and attended a business school, Austin Peay State University, UT – Nashville, University of Maryland via correspondence courses while stationed in Japan. She never received an official degree but had enough credit hours for two degrees. Her work career included the Tennessee Military District, U.S. Army, Fort McPherson, Better Business Bureau, State of Tennessee Records Management, and Metro Archives. Besides ARMA she was a member of Catholic Business Women, Ladies of Charity, TCRS, XI Beta Kappa Chapter of Beta Sigma, and many other community groups.

Memories of Margaret Shea
Mike Potts, Metro Records Management “Margaret was a storehouse of knowledge in the subject of Records Management. Her dedication led to the approval of over 400 RDA’s for Metro Government”.

Virginia Lyle, Metro’s First Archivist “Margaret was a tremendous asset in the startup of the Metropolitan Archives, both personally and professionally”.

Dana Short, Metropolitan Nashville Airport Authority “Many fond memories of Margaret Shea. Attending my first meeting with ARMA, Margaret was there to greet me. Her expertise, knowledge, professionalism, honesty, dependability, and high morals made her quite a special person. As the years progressed in ARMA, Margaret was always there to assist. She will be dearly missed by myself, her colleagues, and most of all her family”.

Steve Richards, Richards & Richards “The year was 1986 and I had just returned from living in Atlanta for one year. I was at the time in the family moving business (my family still is) and I realized that 1, I did not like living in Atlanta, 2. I did not like the moving business and, 3. I wanted to return to Nashville and go into the records storage business. In the fall of that year, I heard about ARMA, attended my first chapter meeting (at Maryland Farms) and was introduced to Margaret Shea. She and Virginia Lyle were the greeters – and greet they did. There she was. Every hair in place. Neatly dressed. Big smile, very friendly and talkative. Every month, just like clockwork, Margaret would call me to see if I was going to attend the ARMA meeting that month, and if I was ready to join. It’s one of those things where sometimes, you just “give in” and join. And I did join that December. She was also on the calling committee and every month without fail, she would call and every month, the conversations got longer and longer. Good gossip. Some not so good gossip. But a friendship grew and was nurtured through the first five years of my ARMA membership. She was very excited about me starting my business and was a good, dear friend to me when I was just getting things going. Always asking how I was doing and then seriously wanting to know the answer. You know what I mean. She had one of the greatest jobs in Nashville. She worked at the Metro Archives on Elm Hill Pike – with Virginia Lyle. She not only was able to learn about Nashville’s history, she was able to be around it, touch it, feel, it, smell it. She also knew of my love for history, and in particular, Nashville and Tennessee history. Margaret called me from time to time to invite me over to look at one of the special collections she was working on. Amazing. On one occasion, she showed me some Nashville newspapers from the 1880s and what good shape they were in. And then showed me the condition of papers that were only ten years old. I got a good lesson in acidity levels in newsprint that day. She knew that I loved old documents. Margaret also encouraged me to join Tennessee Archivists. We went together to one particular meeting held at the Hermitage Hotel. Margaret had a fun side too. We’ll leave it there! Margaret always had a smile. Ear to ear. She loved to please people. She loved to help people. Always serving. ARMA, Tennessee Archivists, her friends, her family, her church. That’s what I remember best. Margaret Shea, one of our original chapter members, will be dearly missed”.

Norm Holcombe (HCA) “I first met Margaret in April 1975 when I was asked to assume management of the Records Management Department at the State. Margaret’s official duties were handling all the administrative functions of the department but in today’s terminology she was also our “subject matter expert”. She made me feel so welcome and needed when I knew that she knew I could not spell records management and nor could I find the department’s offices (lower level of the State Archives Building) without a lot of help. Her grace, professionalism, and desire to help everyone was known throughout State Government. If you had a question about “records” you called Margaret. They were wise. It took no time for me to realize that I would be wise also if I learned from her experiences and expertise and had her look over all outgoing correspondence, manuals, etc. More times than not, she would gently say “you may want to reword this part” or “maybe you should send this out at a later time”. She was always right. Some of the best advice she ever gave me was to join the Nashville ARMA Chapter immediately and to attend the National ARMA Conference that fall and take the Introduction to Records Management track. What sound advice that was!! I had the honor of working with her for several years, but best of all, we were good friends for the next 30 years. I miss her but I have great memories and will see her again one day.”

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