Sheila Barlow O’Brien passed away on December 14, 2020 at the age of 90. From Key Largo, FL and Muncy, PA, she spent her last days at the Heritage Springs Memory Care facility in Montoursville, PA.
Sheila was born in 1930 in the United Kingdom as the second daughter of Horace Victor Barlow and Violet Layman Barlow.
In September 1940, during the Blitz, Sheila was evacuated by ship with her two brothers and sister. After a harrowing journey and time spent in an orphanage in Brooklyn, NY., a recent widow, Mrs. Henry G. Brock of Muncy became the guardian of the four children. She brought them to live at Muncy Farms and, eventually, adopted them. All of this was done with the
Sheila attended elementary and junior high school in the Muncy public school; in Philadelphia (Agnes Irwin); and graduated from The Foxhollow School in Lenox, MA. Afterward graduation, she went to New York to pursue a career in fashion photography, joining the studio of Francesco Scavullo.
Sheila married Gilbert Beekman Schaeffer in 1952 and moved to Miami, FL., where they had two children: Joan and John. After the death of Mrs. Brock and a divorce in 1961, Sheila returned to Muncy Farms with her children.
In October, 1968, Sheila married James E. O’Brien of Muncy. They lived in Muncy and Key Largo, FL. Jim and Sheila had a loving relationship and traveled the world extensively. Jim passed in 2006.
Sheila was a particularly energetic and industrious person and had many friends across the world. She was known for her enthusiasm, kindness, generosity and was a great friend to all ages. Sheila was an extraordinary athlete, achieving many accolades and trophies in field hockey, tennis, sailing, and riding.
Sheila was predeceased by her brother, Brian Barlow; sister Susan Barlow; and half-brother Derrick Steedman. She is survived by her brother Malcolm Barlow of Muncy Farms; her two children: Joan Kelley of Sugarloaf Key, FL and John Schaeffer of Muncy Farms; three grandchildren: Melissa Kelley Villamizar of Amagansett, NY; Seth Kelley of Shelter Island, NY; and Beekman Schaeffer of Muncy Farms. She has one great-grandson in Jack Villamizar.
Sheila will be laid to rest in the Brock family section of Hall’s Cemetery on Muncy Farms.
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