Brewster-Shea Funeral and Cremation Services
34 Park Place
Manchester Center, VT 05201
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Sheila Foster

1924 - 2017 Obituary Condolences
Sheila Foster Obituary
Manchester - Sheila Foster, longtime resident of Manchester passed away on Sunday, January 29th after a brief illness, she was 92. Born Mary Sheila Ryan in Montreal, Quebec Canada to Leo George and Alice (Spencer) Ryan on August 4th, 1924. Sheila attended Loretto Abbey in Toronto and McGill University in Montreal. She continued her education at Parson's School of Design in NYC where she studied interior design rendering in watercolor. It was here that she discovered a passion for the medium of watercolor painting, which would continue throughout her life.

While attending Parsons, she met her future husband John 'Jack' Foster an account executive at J. Walter Thompson Co. Shortly before they were married, Jack was transferred to the Montreal office so Sheila and Jack returned to Canada and settled in Senneville where they bought a small house in which to raise a family. In 1965 Jack was transferred back to New York City. While on the trip to NY to look for a new home they stopped for the night in Manchester, a favorite vacation spot. Sheila loved Vermont, and Manchester in particular so taking a leap of faith, they purchased Southwick's clothing and ski shop and a big old house on West Road. They moved their 5 children to Vermont and before long Sheila had added horses, a pony, 4 dogs and a goat to the family.

When her children were young, Sheila was active in Pony Club, the Green Mountain Horse Association, and 4H Club sharing her love of horses with her children. She was an avid downhill skier and spent almost two decades as a JISP driver taking children to Bromley Mountain once a week for ski lessons. She was an ardent supporter of Bennington County Humane Society and Ride and Shine Special Equestrians, an artist member of The Southern Vermont Art Center, one of the early Friends of Hildene and until recently an active member of the Manchester Village Design Review Board.

As her children grew and she found more free time, Sheila rediscovered her passion for watercolor painting. She became a member of The Vermont Watercolor Society, and began a thriving career as portrait artist. She was best known for her animal portraits but was an accomplished landscape painter as well. Sheila also loved a good game of golf with friends. Mostly, she loved being outdoors with her family.

Sheila was a loving mother and devoted grandmother to her nine grandchildren. She is survived her children Dana Foster McNair of Landgrove, J. Bart Foster of Boston MA, MaryLynn Ferington of Lima, NY, S. Ruth McClure of Bloomfield Hills, MI, and Mark R. Foster of Burlington VT.

Memorial gifts may be made to Second Chance Animal Center, Manchester Health Services or Southwestern Vermont Health Care Foundation c/o Brewster-Shea Funeral Services, P.O.Box 885 Manchester Center, VT 05255. The family plans to hold a Celebration of Life later in the spring. To send the family personal email condolences, please visit www.sheafuneralhomes.com.

Published in Bennington Banner on Feb. 8, 2017
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