Sheila McLean Carpenter, 86, died peacefully at her home on the morning of February 1, 2022.
She was predeceased by her husband of 59 years, John B. Carpenter and her parents Margaret and William Arthur McLean.
She is survived by her sister Mary Zimmerer and her husband Bob Zimmerer; her son John S. Carpenter and his fiancé Sanda Erdelez; her daughter Sarah Carpenter and her husband Jack Gellen; and granddaughters Sheila Evans and Ellie Carpenter-Scheid along with her husband Charlie Scheid.
Sheila was born and raised in Geneva, NY. She spent summers at her family’s cottage on Lake Opinicon in Canada and Seneca Lake in New York, where she taught swimming lessons as a teenager. Graduating from Denison University in 1957, she married her college sweetheart, John, on July 13th of that year. John was sent his Army draft notice the very next day, and by 1958 they were living in Kitzingen, Germany, where he was stationed. They had a small apartment in town, and enjoyed many wonderful adventures in the Bavarian countryside before returning to the US in 1959.
Sheila had a long career teaching 3rd and 4th grades in public schools in the Finger Lakes region of New York before retiring in 1994. She and John lived for many years in the village of Stanley, NY, where they raised their family. Once the nest was empty, they moved to Bristol, NY, where they renovated a hunting lodge and lived in the woods overlooking a pond, surrounded by nature. Moving to Greenfield in 2004, Sheila volunteered at the library and was an active congregant at St. James Episcopal Church.
Sheila had a lifelong love of learning. She was a voracious reader, active in her book club, and attended Senior Symposia and local concerts regularly. She was always eager for new experiences and traveled in North America and Europe throughout her life. Sheila enjoyed the outdoors from an early age and was an avid birder, with a life-list of 384 species. The Red-breasted Nuthatch was her favorite.
Sheila liked all types of word games, including crossword puzzles and the daily Jumble, Scrabble and most recently Wordle. A patient and wily card player, her favorite game was Canasta. She won her final hand with a flourish, the evening before her passing.
Sheila leaves behind a loving family and many dear friends, and will be remembered and missed for the generosity and kindness she showed to all around her.
A memorial service will be held at the Episcopal Church of Saints James and Andrew, 8 Church St, Greenfield, at 11 am on Saturday, February 26th. Donations in Sheila’s name can be made to the church in lieu of flowers. The family is grateful to Smith-Kelleher Funeral Home of Greenfield for their assistance.
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