Cover photo for Sheila Wilson's Obituary
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1945 Sheila 2022

Sheila Wilson

May 15, 1945 — May 29, 2022

Loving wife and mother, Sheli in care of the Fortune-Keough Funeral Home.

Elizabeth Wilson, age 77, went to sleep on May 29, 2022 at Elderwood Nursing Home. Sheila was Born on May 15, 1945 in Cooperstown, NY to William and Elizabeth Packer. Sheila was a graduate of North Warren High School in 1963 and Albany Business College in 1965.

On June 11, 1966 Sheila married the love of her life, Robert Edward Wilson and they began a family together. Sheila was the oldest of six siblings so being a nurturer and role model came natural to her. In her adult married life, if you were to ask her what her job was, she would proudly say that she was a homemaker. This was a job she took to heart and did it with great pride and care for her husband and her four children. Not only was she the head-of-the-household (and she was), but she also steered the ship. A typical day growing up would be breakfast ready before we rose, getting home from school with a healthy snack waiting for us, the smell of dinner cooking in the air, all the laundry ironed and put away neatly, the house spotless, prayers before bed, these are only a few of the ways that we were spoiled to a great wife and Mom.

The satisfaction of making a great meal for her family was always at the top of Mom’s to-do list. It wasn’t until we were old enough to go to a friend's house that we kids realized having a candlelit dinner every night wasn’t the norm. Or that a choice of four types of dessert after dinner wasn’t commonplace. As much as we all loved eating her food, she loved knowing we were enjoying it. From her extra spicy sauces, her macaroni salad, to her especially famous cherry cheesecake! The cheesecake was always a family request to be made on all special occasions and no-one can hold a candle to it.

Sheila knew the health value of fresh vegetables and her garden was her pride and joy. We kids were treated to dozens of hours of weeding the half-acre garden after school and during summer vacation. Mom’s thumbs were very green, the garden always flourished. Many evenings, sitting around watching tv, we would all have five-gallon buckets of green beans that we would have to snap the ends off, or peas that needed to be shucked. Of course, the garden was placed right along the third base line of the backyard baseball field and hence was born Mom’s rule of “hitting the ball in the garden is an out”. It really taught us, and all the neighbor kids, to hit the ball up the middle. Speaking of the neighbor kids, our house was the gathering place, Mom loved looking out her kitchen window and watching us all play in the backyard. Forever being a host, everyone always wanted to come to our house because Mom would put out snacks and refreshments for all of us.

Sheila had many joys in life and they all revolved around being with family. The annual trips to New Smyrna Beach in the family truckster was one of her favorites. Looking for seashells while walking the beach with her own mother, watching the dolphins at JB’s, observing nature at Canaveral Seashore, Manny’s greek salads, walks on the dune’s boardwalk, pontoon boat days on the Halifax River, El Dora, and trips to Disney top the list. The Sea Dunes are great family memories we have with her and will always hold a special place in all our hearts.

The family camp in Brant Lake was also someplace Sheila enjoyed spending time. She took a humble little cottage and turned it into a second home. Even there, Mom would plant in her little flower garden, place out her garden gnomes, and dressed it up to make it comfortable for all of us.

As Sheila’s kids grew older and began their own lives, there was a void. Mom missed taking care of people, it was just in her nature, so she began a small daycare for the local children. Many more kids “grew-up” with our mom and were treated to the same care she gave us, she cared for them as if they were her own.

Sheila was diagnosed with cancer in 2004 and fought a valiant battle. Anyone who knew her knew how strong she was and how hard she fought. There was at least a dozen or more “situations” she overcame that would have caused most people to probably give up, but not our mom. Although Sheila was small in stature, she had a very large heart and strong desire to see her grandkids grow-up. There is a quote that would perfectly sum up our mom. “It’s not the size of the dog in the fight, it’s the size of the fight in the dog”. Yet only standing at 4’ 9 ¼” (and she would make sure to add that ¼”) people constantly looked up to her for her strength and dedication to her family.

Right up to the very end, Sheila was still caring and selfless. She spent her last days in the hospital making friends with the nursing staff and continuing to look on the bright side of things. As we would ask her pain level, she would always tell us “Zero” even though we knew better. She didn’t want us to worry. She fought and continued on selflessly because she knew her family wasn’t ready to let her go. As her days became few and she was unable to continue physically doing things for us, she still gave us her love and was still jovial and witty calling out an occasional “half-wit” to us as we goofed around in her hospital room. However, at this point her work was done, she was unable to make us meals, or to slip us some money, or take care of her family as she wanted. Every day as visitors would leave, she would remark, “Be careful on the roads.” She still managed to find a way to take care of us even if it was only a small piece of advice.

Sheila was predeceased by her mother Elizabeth Reynolds Packer, her father William Herman Packer and her stepfather Donald Irving Morris. Shelia is survived by her husband Robert of 56 years, her four children Eric (Tammy), William (Anita), Erin (Thomas), and Leslie (Jeremy). Sheila has 12 grandchildren Aaron, Owen, Adam, Megan, Gabriel, Aiden, Lisa, Dillon, Ethan, Jacob, Anna, and Cailyn.

Funeral arrangements are in care of the Fortune-Keough Funeral Home, 20 Church Street, Saranac Lake, NY 12983. At Sheila’s request there will not be any public services, but there will be a family celebration of life at a later date. Anyone wishing to make a charitable donation in Sheila’s name, please make it for the good people at the Saranac Lake Rescue Squad in care of the Fortune-Keough Funeral Home.

Family and friends can also share send a condolence, share a memory and sign the on-line guest book at
To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Sheila Wilson, please visit our flower store.


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