Sheila Elizabeth (Cook) Wheatley passed away at age 79. “Sadness is overcome by joy as we know she is in the presence of her Lord and Savior, and will be gifted with her new body and a fresh mind.” Cook was born in Philadelphia on July 10, 1942, to Harry and Gladys Cook.
She was a graduate of Delaware County Christian School and attended Cairn University (formerly Philadelphia College of the Bible). She was on the posters for War Bonds during World War II painted by artist Fred Brunner. She was the redhead.
Wheatley cherished her summers in Ocean City, N.J., where the Cooks had their summer home. She also loved waitressing at Watsons, where she made many life- long friends.
On March 28, 1964, she married Wayne Wheatley at the Eastern Baptist Seminary Chapel. The couple lived on Smithville Lake in Maryland, where they restored the Bullock Brick House (listed with Maryland Historic Trust), taking it back to its original charm, circa 1747.
The Wheatleys moved to Pennsylvania in 1972 so their daughters, Amy and Meg, could attend Delaware County Christian School. Sheila Wheatley became involved with Church of the Savior in Wayne, Pa., in many capacities, including fundraising through dinners and also teaching women’s Bible studies. She was a sponsor of children in Africa through World Vision and visited Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania in East Africa to visit the people to interview them in their daily setting while taking photographs that were used on the covers of World Vision magazine.
While in Kenya, she stayed in the home that was once occupied by Isak Dinesen, author of “Out of Africa.”
In 1975, Wheatley started an in-home business distributing Shaklee products. The business brought in a new group of friends, many still using the products, and is a successful business to this day.
The Wheatleys, with friends and family, spent much time sailing the Chesapeake on the Contentment, the Serenity and the Sheila C. They motored and crabbed on the Gee Bee and the Amanda G. It was not always contentment or serenity, but great times were had by all.
Wheatley loved being with people and was a docent at Historic Waynesboro, across the field from her home. She was a tour guide for the Philadelphia flower show, giving VIP tours of Winterthur through “Hospitality, Philadelphia Style.”
Sheila and Wayne Wheatley built their home on Grubbs Mill Road in 1982 and resided there until they moved to Chestertown, Md.
In Chestertown, she was very active, making many friends and serving on boards including Magnolia Hall. While in Chestertown, she resided at Stepne Manor, the oldest home in Kent County. She loved old homes. In December of 1998, the book “Historical Houses of Kent County,” by author Michael Owen Bourne and edited by Chestertown resident and friend Eugene Hall Johnstone, was published. Johnstone asked if Sheila Wheatley would have a book signing at Stepne, and Stepne was put on the book tour, with a very large turnout and successful signing. The visitors also enjoyed the Christmas decorations. The desserts were great.
In 2000, Sheila and Wayne Wheatley moved to Easton, Md., living on the Tred Avon and attending Shore Harvest Presbyterian Church.
With the encouragement of a friend, at 60, she got her real estate license. She started with Doug Hanks Realty in Oxford and then joined Tom Crouch in Easton, and later joined Rob Lacaze and Cliff Meredith in Easton. Her smile, along with going the extra mile, made her successful and always brought out the question from her peers, “Where did you learn that”?
As their Realtor, Wheatley found the property that would become Shore Harvest Presbyterian Church.
In 2013 Sheila and Wayne Wheatley, moved to Forest Landing on the Delaware coast and attended New Covenant Presbyterian Church in Lewes, Del. She was committed to the MOPS program at the church.
Wheatley was preceded in passing by her brothers, Harry and John; a cousin, John Wills; and a brother-in-law, Walter Whitehead. She leaves Wayne, and her daughters and sons-in-laws, Amy and Frank Jaros, and Meg and Bo Josetti; her grandchildren, Michael Jaros, Cole, Jack and Amanda Josetti and Joel Neuhauser, and their daughter, Claira Elizabeth, born in December 2021 — Wheatley’s first great-grandchild. Sheila was much involved with the lives of Steve and Jennifer Cisick and their children, Christina, Olivia, Briannaand Melissa. She was their special Nana. She also leaves sister and brother in-laws, Deedy and Rob Wilson, Tommy and Kay Wheatley, Deborah Whitehead, Mike and Karen Wooster, and Rob and Susie Raske; as well as cousins Lynn Wills, and David Spealler and his wife, Jill, along with her Scottish cousins, Bill and Isabel Morrison and their family. She also leaves nieces and nephews Melissa Wills, Jennifer Wills, Chris Spealler, Julie Spealler, Mark Wilson, Julie Nicholson, Laura Agovino, Rachel Coleman, Jennifer Harvey, Megan Nichols, Nathan Wooster, Andrew Wooster, Daniel Raske, and Louisa Raske, Christopher Cook and Debbie Terzino, along with Doug Frazier and Holt Frazier.
Wheatley will be missed by her friends and family in Caroline County, Pennsylvania’s Chester, Delaware and Lancaster counties, Kent and Talbot County, Md., and the Delaware beaches. She will be missed by her two special buddies, Ann Lownes and Bobbie Madsen.
She was extremely thankful for her special caregiver, Robin, and all the Hospice nurses and caretakers who made her last days on Earth ones with comfort and dignity. “There will be many standing at the Gates of Heaven welcoming Sheila, knowing she was the one who introduced them to Jesus. Sheila’s greatest joy will be greeting her family and friends in heaven. Maybe she will give them a tour.”
Burial was to be private. Memorial services will be announced at a later date. Memorial donations may be made to Delaware Hospice, 100 Patriots way, Milford, DE 19963, or online at Delawarehospice.org/donate.