Age 74, of St. Paul, passed away May 26th, 2021 of complications related to heart surgery. Preceded in death by sister Margit Alderman and parents Harry and Gunnvor (Falk) Sheff. Survived by loving wife of 52 years Virginia (Struck) Sheff; devoted sons Harry (Mira) Sheff and Morgan (Amy) Sheff; grandchildren Nora, Reidun, Sam, and Harry Jr.; and many cousins, nieces, nephews, and friends.
Harold graduated from Spring Lake Park High School, where his father Harry was principal, in 1964. He met his wife Virginia at the University of Minnesota where he graduated with a BA, followed by a law degree. He began his law career in 1973 as an assistant county attorney for Anoka County before moving into private practice at Olson, Gunn & Seran in 1980. In 1990, he joined the firm now known as Smith Gendler Shiell Sheff Ford & Maher and continued to practice property tax law until his death. He was involved in many organizations over the years, including the Coon Creek Watershed District and the Central Center for Family Resources. He told people close to him that he had plans to retire soon, but we had doubts—he loved his work and thoroughly enjoyed the camaraderie of his partners.
He was a loving husband and father, always available, and openly proud of his sons—traits he extended to his daughters-in-law and four grandchildren. He liked to spend his mornings reading car magazines while drinking Diet Coke in his car in the McDonald’s parking lot. He was known for his trademark smirk and sharp wit. Harold was a gregarious optimist, an odd mix of analytical and warmth who saw everything as a game. He prized patina in both people and objects and had an appreciation for the transience and absurdity of life. He had a very successful career, but always prioritized family and took his retirement in the form of frequent ski vacations and car trips. Harold was an avid skier and a professional ski instructor who particularly loved the Wasatch Mountain ski areas of Utah. He was a collector of vintage cars and an enthusiastic member of the BMW Classic Car Club of America.
A celebration of life is planned for September, with details to follow in this paper. Memorials preferred to Habitat for Humanity or Second Harvest Food Shelf.