Sheehan, former Domino's and Little Caesars exec, dead at 70

Oct. 17, 2002

DETROIT -- Northville, Mich., resident Larry Sheehan, a former executive of Domino's Pizza and Little Caesars, died Oct. 14 of heart disease. He was 70.

An obituary in the Detroit Free Press said Sheehan was executive vice president of Little Caesars from the 1970s through the early '80s. In the '90s he was vice president of marketing at Domino's.

His wife, Joan, credited her husband with helping both companies through tough times.

"Both of them were pretty down and out when he went there, and they prospered from his being there," she told the Free Press.

Domino's vice president of corporate communications Tim McIntyre said Sheehan helped lead the national roll-outs of the chain's thin-crust pizza and its buffalo wings. Sheehan created the company's Donny Domino advertising character and helped direct its "Something for Nothin' " ad campaign.

McIntyre called Sheehan "a caring, friendly gentleman," whom he saw several months ago at a youth basketball game. "(H)is nephew was on the boys basketball team I coached, and I remember looking across the court at half-time during the championship game and saw Larry and Joan sitting there. It was a pleasant surprise, and I enjoyed catching up with him after the game."

Sheehan also owned and operated restaurants in Michigan and Florida, including O'Sheehan's Restaurants -- two in Northville, one in Farmington and two near Jacksonville, Fla. -- and Mother's Pizza in Plymouth.

One of the Northville restaurants (now called Sheehan's on the Green) and the Plymouth pizzeria are run by family members. The rest are out of business.

Sheehan never retired, but he gradually turned more of the restaurant work over to his sons.

He is survived by: his wife; sons Timothy, Thomas, Terrence and Daniel; daughters Susan Meeks and Pati Thornton; 12 grandchildren; and two sisters.

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