Age 86

A transformative leader, Sister Sheila was also a caring friend and mentor to countless students and fellow educators and a fierce champion of Catholic education.

Born in Binghamton, New York, she entered the Sisters of Mercy in Chicago, Illinois, at the age of 18. She earned a bachelor’s degree in mathematics from Rosary College (now Dominican University) in River Forest, Illinois, a master’s degree in theology from St. Xavier’s University in Chicago, Illinois, a master’s degree in English from the University of Chicago and a doctorate in English literature from the University of Nebraska in Omaha, Nebraska. A certified public accountant, she also received a master’s degree in accounting from Salve Regina University in Newport, Rhode Island.

For 18 years she ministered first as the dean of students and then as vice-president and provost of Salve Regina University in Newport, Rhode Island. Next, Sister Sheila served nine years as the president of Regis College in Weston, Massachusetts.

In her “retirement” she served as the director of development for Mother McAuley High School in Chicago, Illinois, for a year and president of St. Francis High School in Wheaton, Illinois, for four years.

Next, she was called to serve in community leadership as the vice-president for the former Chicago Regional Community for two years and a team member of the former West Midwest Community for six years. She was a driving force in the planning and construction of Mercy Circle, a continuing care retirement community for religious and lay people, where she resided for the past decade and rekindled her interest in fine art and drawing.