96, of Weston, formerly of Natick, MA, died peacefully on January 8, 2020. She was the loving daughter of the late Moses and Ethel (Robinson) Smith.
Sheila was unconditionally loving, caring and pragmatic to those she loved and to those who knew her as a relative, friend, neighbor, and fellow volunteer. She was a life-long learner, an avid reader and lover of music, literature and the arts, and valued family, community, and education above all else. She played piano from a very young age and continued to play well into her nineties. Born in Chelsea, MA, Sheila attended public schools and earned her Bachelor’s Degree from Hunter College in NYC, and many years later, a Masters Degree in Library Science from Simmons College.
Sheila used her many talents to serve in her careers, volunteer work, and family life. She met her husband “Tommy” working in radio and television at CBS in NYC. As a devoted mother and homemaker, she raised her son and daughter, and was their strength and stability as the family moved to various cities across the country (Forest Hills, NY, Port Washington, NY, Wellesley, MA, Dallas, TX, DeWitt, NY). She and Tommy eventually settled in Natick, MA, where she lived for 44 years. Sheila worked at the Dedham High School as the head librarian from 1974 – 1987. She was a lifelong volunteer; instrumental in the start up of TCAN (the Center for the Arts in Natick), a member of the Friends of Morse Institute Library (Natick) and culminated her volunteer work at Amazing Things Art Center in Framingham. She was most proud and excited about Amazing Things, the music and art that was featured there, and the many people she volunteered alongside with at the center. Well into her eighties, Sheila would frequently be heard mentioning the latest “jam session” or local performance at Amazing Things she had attended, and she boasted a social life that often out-shined those of her children and adult grand-children combined.
Sheila is survived and will be dearly missed by her son Stephen Thomas and his wife Darleen Thomas, her daughter Emily (Thomas) Parker and her wife Nancy Feldman, her grandchildren Dylan Thomas Parker, Victoria (Tori) Parker, and Heather Johnson, her great-grandchildren Harper and Hayden Camah-Parker, her grandsons-in-law Jamaal Camah and James Glaub, her nephew and his family, James Goldston, Veronika and Sammy, her cousin Lydia Wegman and her husband Bob Cantwell, and her many additional cousins and extended family. She was a loving wife to Richard (Tommy) Thomas for 42 years and beloved sister to Mrs. Judith (Smith) Goldston, both of whom preceded her in death in 1995 and 2018, respectively.
Her family is grateful for the loving, dedicated, and compassionate care she received from both staff and devoted personal caregivers, as well as from the nurses and other caring professionals at Maplewood at Weston and Newton Wellesley Hospital.
A private memorial to celebrate Sheila’s life will be held in the spring/summer for family, extended family and friends. In lieu of flowers, donations in Sheila’s name may be sent to: Amazing Things Art Center, 160 Hollis Street, Framingham, MA 01702 or to a charity of your choice.
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