Tuesday, September 26, 2017

SHEILA MARLIN O'NEILL | R.I.P., Sept. 25, 2017 (Condolences)

Sheila with Trusty,
Montreal, 1951.
September 26, 2017 – Sheila Marlin O'Neill, the youngest of my three older sisters, died at 8:30 pm yesterday at the Peace Hospice in Watford, England. It was a month before her 78th birthday.

A funeral service is planned in Watford for Friday, October 13.
Shane O'Neill and Sheila Marlin at their

Sheila was the calm center of us six children. As her siblings were bent on shorter-term quests of various kinds, she made long-term plans, and she carried them out.

For many years she headed a group of Montessori Schools in the Watford and Berkhamsted areas of Hertfordshire. At one time there were eleven schools. 

The High Elms Montessori School, near Watford has been operating in a building on the 23-acre High Elms Manor where she has lived for many years. 

In July 2017, she retired because of ill health from teaching and educational administration after a career spanning 50 years.

She was well enough to see visitors just five days before she died.
L to R: Lis, Sheila, Art O'Murnaghan (1875-
1953), Brigid, John. Ireland, 1952.

She was, like her mother and older sister Brigid, a writer as well as an artist. 

In her later years she became a proficient author and illustrator of books for children, typically involving animals such as seals or a goose.

Sheila is the first of the six children of Hilda van Stockum to join her parents in the next life. She is survived by her four daughters Roisin, Catrine, Liadain (Lili) and Ailise, and seven grandchildren. Her late husband Shane O'Neill, who grew up in Waterford, Ireland attended Trinity College Dublin with the late Ben Oakley, who married Sheila's sister Brigid. 

Notes of Sympathy

Olga Marlin, Nairobi, Kenya. Photo by
Lis Paice, October 6, 2017.
Sept. 26, Olga (Sister, in Nairobi): I have just opened my mail to find John's message, followed by all of yours.

Dear little Sheila – I have been praying so much for her – that God take her straight to Heaven. It is a great comfort to know that the priest was there to give her the Anointing of the Sick. Masses will be celebrated for her here: three in my Centre, Samara.

We shall miss her!

My special love to all at this difficult moment, with a big hug to each from Olga.

L to R: Sheila, Brigid, Lis.
Sept. 26, Alice (Sister-in-Law, in Geneva): Sheila worked so hard and lovingly for her family, caring for daughters and grandchildren. 
She reaped a precious reward: her daughters, Brigid and Lis were with her almost constantly near the end.

Sheila was always grateful for even the smallest attention. I am sure your presence and the prayers of the siblings unable to be at her side meant the world to her.

John and I are grateful to have had a bit of time with her recently.
She bore the painful curse of cancer so bravely. Warm smiles and appreciation even over that.

We shall all miss her. Love to all, Alice

Sept. 26, Jay (Nephew, in New York): Her laugh, her smile, her concentration while painting, all the big family meals, and skits, or just hanging out with everyone enjoying a sunny day will always be remembered. Condolences to all. Love, Jay

See also: Visit to Watford . Daughters and Grands

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  1. I have added a photo with Art O'Murnaghan, who was an influence on the art of Sheila and Brigid. Art died in 1953, a year after the photo was taken.

  2. I am sorry to learn of Sheila's passing. We were pen pals,as youngsters. She used to illustrate her letters! She once enclosed a color illustration of the Christ Child.
    I have it,framed, on my dresser. We were in touch, by letter, a couple of years ago...just a brief re-connect after decades out of touch.
    We became pen pals as a result of a fan letter I had written to her Mother.
    ~Anne Kennedy Ilacqua~. Providence,Rhode Island, USA