John Francis “Jack” Shea Jr., an acclaimed director, producer, writer and former Directors Guild of America president, who died from complications from Alzheimer’s disease April 28, leaves a legacy of goodwill and leadership in communities touched by his professional skills and his Catholic faith.Prolific in work and philanthropy, Shea directed several episodes of popular sitcoms such as “The Jeffersons,” “Silver Spoons,” “Sanford & Son” and “Designing Women,” for which he received an Emmy nomination. He also received an Emmy nomination for directing a Bob Hope Christmas Special, one of ten such Christmas shows he directed for Hope as the legendary comedian entertained military troops serving in Vietnam, Korea, Turkey, Greenland and Cuba, among other countries.“His gentle manner and the kindest of hearts will be the things we miss the most,” said Taylor Hackford, DGA president, about Shea, a New York native who was president of the Hollywood local of the Radio and Television Directors Guild when it merged with the Screen Directors Guild in 1960. Following the merger, Shea was elected to the DGA’s National Board, where he served for more than 35 years. He served as DGA president from 1997-2002.“Jack was a tremendous president — a unifying force and a dedicated leader. He truly loved the DGA and spent nearly 50 years in its service, working all the while to bring other members — women, minorities and members of the directorial team — into Guild service,” said Jay D. Roth, DGA’s national executive director. In 1992, Shea was awarded the DGA’s Robert Aldrich Award for “40 years of extraordinary service.”That same year, Shea cofounded Catholics in Media Associates with his wife Patt, a TV screenwriter, and other prominent Catholics in the entertainment industry. CIMA, which annually awards spiritually-uplifting films and television shows, grew out of a shared desire among the Sheas and their entertainment industry friends to discuss the interaction between their spiritual and professional lives. “Through their lives and work, they showed what it means, that it is possible, to be authentically human and Catholic in Hollywood,” said Daughter of St. Paul Sister Rose Pacatte, a film and TV critic whose reviews appear in several Catholic publications, including The Tidings.Sister Pacatte described the devoted couple as “funny, gracious, committed, generous Catholics in entertainment [who] made it look natural to be so, though it had its challenges for sure.” "My life would have been different without Jack Shea," added Capuchin Franciscan Father Tony Scannell, who recalled asking Jack and Patt many years ago if they would form "a group of media professionals interested in discussing their faith and their profession." So was laucnhed Catholics in Media, which celebrated its 20th anniversary last month. "Those wonderful years of outstanding Media Awards would never have happened without Jack and Patt," said Father Scannell. "Jack, despite his remarkable achievements, was always the same: humble, dedicated, professional, funny, a man of faith and integrity. My heart winced some months ago when Patt told me, 'Jack isn’t here anymore.' Alzheimer’s had taken him away. But we know with faith where Jack is now, and celebrate his life with us, gratefully."In 1993, Patt wrote and Jack directed a pro-life video called, “The Right Choice” sponsored by the National Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Pro-Life Activities Committee, shown that year at World Youth Day in Denver. The couple both served on the U.S. Bishops Communications Committee.Together, Jack and Patt were recognized for their many contributions to promoting the best in media and religious communications. In 1994, they received the Daniel J. Kane Religious Communications Award given annually by the University of Dayton, Ohio, and, in 1999, were honored with the Focolare Movement’s Luminosa Award for Unity for their contributions to promoting the best in media.Jack and Patt were early supporters of the Angelus Awards, created by Family Theater Productions in 1996 to showcase and award young filmmakers and encourage them to continue creating projects that honor the dignity of the human person.In 2000, the Sheas were invited to represent Hollywood at the Jubilee celebration for entertainers on Dec. 17 at a Mass in Rome. “It’s very important to express that the world of entertainment can be a powerful tool for God’s people,” Jack was quoted as saying in an article in the National Catholic Register in early 2001. “We [Catholics] have the same obligation as anybody else — to tell the truth and follow our conscience in our work.” In addition to his wife, Jack is survived by his daughter, Shawn Shea, his sons, Bill Shea, Michael Shea and John Francis Shea III as well as six grandchildren. His daughter, Elizabeth, preceded him in death. His funeral Mass will be celebrated May 9 at St. Francis de Sales Church, Sherman Oaks.