Sheila de la Fuente
Sheila de la Fuente

Obituary of Sheila Ann de la Fuente

Sheila Ann de la Fuente Born: December 31, 1936 Detroit, Michigan Died: April 20, 2020 Eugene, Oregon Sheila Ann de la Fuente died on April 20, 2020 from complications of heart failure and COPD. She was a proud native of Detroit, Michigan. If you knew her for five minutes, there was a good chance you knew she was from Detroit. She was born there on December 31, 1936 to Arturo de la Fuente and Alice Mary Kendall. She had three siblings: Carmen, Patrick, and Andrea. All three, as well as both parents, pre-deceased her. Sheila wanted to be a nurse for as long as she could remember, and she never left that career until retirement. She started out as a Licensed Practical Nurse, and worked and went to school until she was able to obtain a Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree from Madonna University in Livonia, Michigan. She worked in hospitals in Detroit and the Los Angeles area, eventually spending a number of years as a Perioperative Director; and spent a total of 43 years in nursing. Sheila and Sharon Scherner met in 1985, and from April 1986 until the day she died thirty-four years later, they were never apart. In 2014, they were legally married in a secular ceremony in Richmond, Virginia. Sheila considered Sharon’s daughter Tara, who was 12 when they met, to be her own beloved daughter, and that love was returned in full. For Sheila’s 60th birthday, Tara had her last name legally changed to include Sheila’s, and presented her with a framed certificate of the name change as a surprise birthday present. Throughout her life, Sheila was a devoted Catholic. She retained a certain innocence and a childlike trust that sustained her in her faith. She was an active member of St. Mary Catholic Church in Eugene, Oregon, where she had lived since 2015. Sheila loved animals, reading fiction and non-fiction, movies, and music. In the last 25 years or so of her life she discovered a love for poetry and children’s literature. She enjoyed the beauty of the Pacific Ocean in California and was completely enchanted with Oregon. She had a radiant smile that melted hearts, and a wild hooting laugh that was completely infectious. People never forgot how they enjoyed being the beneficiary of her smile and a participant in her laughter. Her sense of humor was direct and completely quirky. In school, she often had to stand in the corner for deliberately making the other students laugh. In addition to Sharon Scherner and Tara Scherner de la Fuente, Sheila had a host of devoted friends and family who will hold her in their hearts as long as they live. The funeral Mass in Eugene will be private but live-streamed from St. Mary Catholic Church at 12:15 pm PDT on Thursday, April 30, 2020. The live stream will be available for a short time if you happen to miss the original event. When it is safe to travel, her family will take Sheila’s ashes to Long Beach, CA for burial in All Souls Catholic Cemetery, next to her mother. If you would like to honor Sheila in some tangible way, please make a donation to the Jesuits through the Society of Jesus; or if you prefer, donate to any organization that feeds the hungry, cares for the less fortunate, or rescues animals. And always remember her favorite toast: “Here’s to us.”
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