Nicholas O’Donnell Sharkey (“Nick”) was born on May 14, 1944 in Dayton, Ohio and died on February 26, 2022 in Novi, Michigan surrounded by his family. He is survived by his beloved wife of 52 years, Janice, their children Dan (Patty), Chris (Erin) and Kate (Jake), grandchildren Kathleen, Colleen, Meghan, Jack, Henry, Cecilia, William , Judah and Penny Kate. , and his siblings Mary Anne and Joe. He was predeceased by his parents, Donald and Martha, and his siblings Bryan, Gerald, Neil and Christopher. Nick attended Corpus Christi, Chaminade High School (1962), the University of Dayton (BA, 1966) and Michigan State University (MA, 1971 and MBA, 1978) and throughout his life remained an enthusiastic Eagle, Flyer and Spartan. He was an officer in the U.S. Army, working in the public affairs office at Fort Jackson, South Carolina, and as an information officer for Headquarters Area Command in Saigon, Vietnam (1969- 71). Nick has had a distinguished career in journalism and media affairs. He started at age 16 as a mail boy and switchboard operator for the Dayton Daily News and the Journal-Herald. He was sports editor and later editor of Flyer News (1962-66), East Lansing Towne Courier (1971-73), Southfield Eccentric (1973-75), Birmingham Eccentric (1975-81) and editor. of the Observant and Eccentric Newspaper Group (1981-1985). From 1985 to 2002, he worked in public affairs at Ford Motor Company, retiring as director of global news. He served as the company’s chief spokesperson for many years, including negotiations with the UAW and the 1999 Rouge explosion, the worst industrial accident in Ford’s history. After retiring from Ford in 2002, he devoted his time to his nine grandchildren and volunteered with the Ignation Volunteer Corps, where he worked in Detroit at the St. Peter & Paul Warming Center, Loyola High School and Cristo Rey High School. Nick’s passions were his faith, his family, sports, reading and writing. He has coached countless baseball, basketball and football teams of his children and grandchildren. His favorite places were his house, Manresa Retreat House and any baseball park. He read thousands of books and was known for his aggressive editing, “bleeding red ink” all over the initial drafts to chisel them into succinct gems. He spent almost every day with his grandchildren, the centers of his life. Until just days before his death, he faithfully attended their matches, matches, recitals and talent shows. He will be remembered for his humility, his kindness and, above all, his love of family. The family requests that in lieu of flowers, donations be made to Cristo Rey, 5679 W. Vernor Highway, Detroit, MI 48209 (www.detroitcristorey.org).
Published by The Oakland Press on March 13, 2022.