Obituaries » Sheila Mary Sylvester

Sheila Mary Sylvester

October 10, 1948 - August 28, 2021

A memorial service will be held at a later date.

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Sheila Mary Sylvester, died on August 28, 2021, she was the cherished and beloved companion of Leopold (Leo) Chen for 22 years.

Sheila was born in Biddeford, ME, on October 10, 1948, daughter of the late Charles Herbert Sylvester and Shirley Nell Manhart and stepdaughter of the late Elizabeth Claire Hodgkinson.

Shelia graduated from Newburyport High School in 1966 and Boston State College in 1978.

Sheila was employed by Orbital Sciences in Northern Virginia for many years until she retired in 2014.  She was a member of Toastmasters International, a member of the Lions Club and served as the volunteer coordinator through the Lions Club for the Bell Ringers at the Salvation Army.

Sheila loved dogs, cats and had many fond memories of her animal companions.  She enjoyed reading, bird watching, travelling, quilting, stamp collecting, and genealogical research.

She is survived by her sister, Caroline “Carrie” Sylvester McIntyre and her husband, Forest; a brother, Walter Carl Sylvester and his wife, Marcy; her stepchildren: Lester Arthur “Artie” Woodruff, Jr., Annaka “Annie,” Nathan, Kermit “Kerrie,” and niece, Angelea Lee Thevenot and her husband, Mark.  She was also survived by 10 grandchildren.

Sheila was also a step-mother to Sarah Chen Glenn, and her husband, Dustin, Stephen Chen and his wife, Connellen, and Timothy Chen and his wife, Crisi, and 5 grandchildren.  She also leaves behind many, many friends of both the 2 footed and 4 footed variety!

She was predeceased by her beloved husband, Lester Arthur Woodruff in 1994.

A memorial service will be held at a later date.

 Tharp Funeral Home & Crematory, Lynchburg, is assisting the family.  To send condolences, please visit


Celebrate Sheila Mary's life with a short message, photo or video!

So sorry to learn of Sheila's passing. We very much enjoyed our chats with her while on our mutual dog walks in the neighborhood.

Posted by Doug on September 8, 2021

Sheila, always my 'favorite' sister and best friend. I love you always and forever! You took a piece of my heart with you, but you left a piece of yours with me. I miss you so much!

Posted by Carrie on September 7, 2021

Leo, Very sorry to hear the news about Sheila. I know you guys had enjoyed a lot of good time together.

Posted by Wayne McFarland on September 2, 2021

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