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Former Spiegel exec John Shea dies

Chicago – Former Spiegel chief John Shea died May 27 following a four-year battle with cancer. He was 70.

Shea was president and ceo of Spiegel, Inc. from 1985 to 1997, years of rapid growth for the company. He masterminded the acquisition of Eddie Bauer in 1988 and Newport News in 1993. Along with Spiegel Catalog, the combined entity under Shea’s leadership became a $3 billion multi-channel specialty retailer. He exited in 1997.

Shea spent his formative years in retailing at John Wanamaker Corporation, rising to svp of merchandising before joining Spiegel as vp of merchandising in 1981. Shea also served as chairman of the Board of the National Retail Federation and sat on numerous other boards related to education, business and civic functions.

He is survived by wife Susan, two children and six grandchildren.

Visitation will take place today from 3 p.m. to 9 p.m. Central Time, at Knollcrest Funeral Home in Lombard, Ill. Funeral services will take place tomorrow at 9:45 a.m.

In honor of Shea’s early career as a toy buyer, the family has requested that contributions be made to Toys for Tots, in memory of John J. Shea, Marine Toys for Tots Foundation, 18251 Quantico Gateway Drive Triangle, VA 22172.

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