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Obituary for Sheila Beatrice White (Harris)

Sheila Beatrice  White (Harris)

Sheila Beatrice White (nee Harris) passed away on Friday, August 18, 2017 at Parkwood Institute in London, Ontario during her 96th year. She was prepared for her passing and it was gentle, even welcomed. She will be greatly missed by her loved ones and many friends. Truly a remarkable person-parent, teacher, Air Force Sergeant, business woman, community volunteer, traveler, music-lover, craft person. Sheila worked alongside her husband, Jim (deceased 2001) White, first on their farm on Pelee Island, where she was born, and then in their Canadian Tire stores in Delhi and then Tillsonburg. A favourite memory is her scorning the adding machine and computing, in her head, the sums for long columns of numbers when balancing the books. Because she could do it faster that way. Tillsonburg friends knew her as a crackerjack bridge player and loyal supporter of the United Church where she held many positions. She especially valued her involvement in the United Church Women. Sheila enjoyed helping others. She volunteered as a porter for many years at the Tillsonburg Hospital, delivered Meals-On-Wheels, peeled potatoes for Legion dinners and drove cancer patients to their appointments. Although modest about her musical abilities she was an accomplished piano player. One of her favourite activities in retirement was singing in the Senior’s choir. Like four of her siblings Sheila served in the RCAF during World War II. This experience gave her friendships she carried with her through her long life. She told many tales of horrible food, gathering weather data, plotting the maps and life in the barracks. She attained the rank of Sergeant. Sheila attended many of the reunions of the Royal Canadian Air Force Women’s Division and was a member of the Royal Canadian Legion. Her memory was the vault where family history and genealogy was stored. Her ability to make connections with people through sharing her stories was amazing. Her most lasting legacy is her love of family and commitment to her faith and the community in which she lived. Her children - Wendy, Rod, Joy, Cora, Stephanie and Jim (predeceased) – are forever grateful to have had her for their mother. Her grandchildren will remember her love and support plus all the pies, cookies, jams and pickles. Her great-grandchildren know that GG cherished them dearly. Friends and relatives will be received at St. Paul’s United Church, 88 Bidwell Street, Tillsonburg on Tuesday, August 22, 2017 from 12 noon – 1:00 p.m. The Memorial Servcie for Sheila will follow at 1:00 p.m. with Rev. Pat Cook officiating. Private family inurnment on Pelee Island at a later date. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to St. Paul’s United Church, the Cancer Society or a charity of choice by contacting Ostrander’s Funeral Home, 43 Bidwell Street, Tillsonburg (519-842-5221) who have been entrusted with the arrangements.
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