Edward Gerrard Sheehan, who opened and ran the Dockside Bar & Grill in Sag Harbor in 1996, died on June 23 of lung cancer. He was 78.
He was a natural as a bartender, said one of his sons, Jeffrey Sheehan, because he loved people, and people loved him. “He was one of the greats,” his son said. “He was classic New York salt of the earth.”
Mr. Sheehan was born on Aug. 13, 1933, in Manhattan, to Edward Sheehan and the former Margaret Seaman, and grew up downtown in the West Village. He left high school to join the Army during the Korean War, and served with the 101st Airborne Division. He was a member of the American Legion in Sag Harbor.
After the war, he returned to the city, working at first in the insurance business before gravitating to the restaurant field, where he worked for many years as a bartender.
In 1955 he married his first wife, Nancy Elias. Their daughter, Stacy Sheehan, lives in East Hampton. His second wife, the former Patricia Bennett, whom he married in 1960, survives him, as do their three sons, Jeffrey Sheehan of New York City, Douglas Sheehan of Sag Harbor, and Christopher Sheehan of Mount Vernon, N.Y.
In 1982, the Sheehans moved to East Hampton. Mr. Sheehan worked in several South Fork bar-restaurants, including Cato’s in Bridgehampton, O’Malley’s in East Hampton, and The Grill on Newtown Lane, before opening his own place.
“He had an incredible interest in other people. He had an immense curiosity about people,” said his son Douglas.
In 1987, the couple renewed their vows at the East Hampton Presbyterian Church.
Mr. Sheehan enjoyed horseback riding, and kept a horse of his own in Springs. “He would ride on the beach in Montauk when he could,” said Jeffrey Sheehan.
In 2004, after Mr. Sheehan retired, the couple moved to Venice, Fla., where, said his wife, he “took an interest in croquet, and was on the board of the Sarasota Croquet Club.”
Besides his children and his wife, he leaves two sisters, Joan Beluiso of Pelham, N.Y., and Patricia Orio of Charlotte, N.C., and two brothers, Robert Sheehan of Venice and Kevin Sheehan of Southampton. Four grandchildren survive as well.
Services were to be held at Most Holy Trinity Church, East Hampton, at 10 a.m. today, followed by burial in the church cemetery.