Garrett M. "Sid" Sheehan Print E-mail

Garrett M. “Sid” Sheehan,

Retired Police Captain, University Faculty


Dracut - Garrett M. “Sid” Sheehan 78, devoted husband of Julie S. (Soczawa) Sheehan, and a resident of Dracut for the past 43 years, died on Tuesday December 14, 2021, due to complications from COPD, after an extended 25-year victory over cancer.

Born in Lowell, March 5, 1943, son of the late John J. “Duke” Sheehan Sr. and Mary Agnes (Cotter) Sheehan, he graduated from St. Patrick Grammar School, and Lowell High School Class of 1962. Garrett earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Chemistry from Salem State College and received the first Master of Science Degree in Forensic Chemistry awarded by Northeastern University in 1977.

A veteran of the Vietnam War (1962 – 1966), he proudly served his country in the Air Force with the 18th Tactical Fighter Wing during the early stages of the war. Stationed in Okinawa Garrett fondly remembered coaching the Raiders to the All-Island Football Championship. Upon returning from his service, he coached the Belvidere Team in the Lowell Junior Football League from 1966 to 1968.

Garrett began his career as a Chemistry teacher at Bishop Fenwick High School in Peabody in the early 70’s.  He continued with his “Hobby of Teaching” for over 25 years as an Adjunct Faculty member with the Criminal Justice Departments of the University of Massachusetts, Lowell, and Middlesex Community College, along with teaching Crime Scene Investigative Procedures to Recruit Officers of the Lowell Police Recruit Academy.  Garrett truly came alive while teaching – it was his passion – and any student who has had Professor Sheehan knows to always follow “Sheehan’s Rule” when arriving at a crime scene.

He joined the Lowell Police Department as a patrol officer in 1978 and rose to the rank of Captain in 1992. Garrett retired from the LPD in 2003.  He was the recipient of several letters of citation and commendation during his 25 years of service.  Prior to coming to Lowell, he worked with the Boston Police Department as a Criminalist in the Crime Laboratory Unit where he developed several innovative procedures for the analysis of physical evidence.

A graduate of the FBI National Academy, he has maintained membership in its Association for more than 36 years.  He also held membership in the American Legion, the International Association for Identification, the Massachusetts Police Association, the St. Patrick School Alumni Association, the Massachusetts Teachers Association, the National Education Association, the East End Club, and the “Busted Knuckle” Car Club of Dracut.

Garrett also held Emeritus membership in the Northeastern Association of Forensic Scientists.  He was a member of St. Patrick Parish Building Committee, Parish Council, Golf Tournament Committee, Irish Cultural Committee, Organ Restoration Committee and St. Patrick School and Educational Center, Financial Advisory Board.  He was a faithful and devoted parishioner of St. Patrick Parish of Lowell, throughout his life.

Along with teaching, his hobby’s included rebuilding and driving classic Chevrolet trucks, and supporting associations battling Cancer, Autism and other debilitating illnesses.  His favorite moments in this world were when he was just, “Papa”, and spent time with his four grandchildren that he adored.  They were his greatest gifts, as he would tell everyone who asked, often sharing photographs and stories with a twinkle in his eye.

Garrett is survived by his wife, Julie (Soczawa) Sheehan; his daughters Erin and her husband Keith Caples of Hudson, NH; Maeghan and her husband Matthew Swanson of Presque Isle, ME, as well as his grandchildren: Kaeleigh and Garrett Swanson, and Melanie and Abigail Caples; his Sister-in-law Frances (Frani) Sheehan, along with his nieces Joanne Suprenant, Judy McKenna, Colleen Judge, and Kerrilyn Pessin; nephews John (Jack) Sheehan III, and Kevin Sheehan, many great nieces and nephews, and his dear cousin, Andrea Reilly; and leaves behind many friends, two in particular that went above and beyond to provide support and love in his final days, Maureen McNiff and Raymond Leavitt.

He was also the brother of the late Thomas F. Sheehan, Sr., and the late John J. Sheehan, Jr., (Retired Superintendent of Police).

The Sheehan Family wishes to express their sincere gratitude to the care team at High Pointe Hospice House in Haverhill, MA. who provided outstanding, compassionate care while he was in residence, and we will be forever grateful.

…Not bad for a kid from the Acre.

Friends may call at the at the O’DONNELL FUNERAL HOME 276 PAWTUCKET ST. in LOWELL Tuesday December 21, 2021, from 4 to 7 P.M. His Funeral will be celebrated Wednesday morning at his beloved ST. PATRICK CHURCH 282 Suffolk St. at 10 o’clock. (ALL CITY REQUIRED SOCIAL DISTANCING PROCEDURES WILL BE OBSERVED INCLUDING THE WEARING OF MASKS UPON ENTRANCE INTO THE FUNERAL HOME AND THE CHURCH). Interment to follow at St. Mary’s Cemetery, 90 River Road, Tewksbury, MA. E-condolences/directions at In lieu of flowers, people are asked to make a donation in any amount, to St. Patrick School, 311 Adams Street, Lowell, MA 01854 in memory of the Sheehan boys. Arrangements by Funeral Director James F. O’Donnell, Jr. (978) 458-8768.

Condolences (4)
  • Frank Rouine  - Deepest Sympathy
    I was fortunate to have known Capt. Sheehan and to have worked with him at the Lowell Police Department. My prayers are with the Sheehan Family. May he Rest In Peace.
  • Joe Lipchitz  - Professor Emeritus UMass Lowell
    So sorry to have lost such a friend as well as a former colleague. A loss to your former students as well who could not have had a better professor for forensics. You are sadly missed.
  • Paul Early  - The Earlys and Talbots
    I am so sorry for your loss. We are all thinking and praying for you and your whole family. He was a giant. Thank you so much for sharing him with us.
  • Leslie, Artie and Tim Poitras
    So sorry to hear of this. Words are never enough. We are thinking of you. Leslie, Artie and Tim
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