Myra J. Sheldon, 101, of Morningside in Milford, died April 17, at her home, with family at her side. Often called the “Matriarch of Morningside,” Mrs Sheldon was an early settler in that waterfront community. She was born October 2, 1911, in New Haven, the daughter of Bessie and Donald DeBritton Jacobs.
She was married 42 years to Kenneth Wilson Sheldon, a certified public accountant, who died in 1976. Their children are Jane Sheldon Sharpe, married to Donald, of Sandy Hook, and Karen Lynne Fay, married to David, of Otis, Mass. Mrs Sheldon had four generations of direct descendents, plus spouses — including three children, 15 grandchildren, 24 great-grandchildren, and 12 great-great-grandchildren. Most of her descendents live in Connecticut, including grandchildren Kimberly Sharpe, Sandra, and Edward Sheldon Lundblad, and Marcus Sheldon Sharpe of Sandy Hook. A son, Robert Kent Sheldon, died in 2009.
Mrs Sheldon earned a master’s degree at Southern Connecticut State University. She was an elementary school teacher in Devon, Milford, in the 1930s, later teaching kindergarten at Orange Avenue and Pumpkin Delight Schools, Milford, for another 20 years.
She was a world traveler, visiting more than 100 islands and countries. She toured six of the seven continents, and sailed around South America to view Antarctica.
During her 76 years in Morningside, she chaired many committees and served as association president. She was also the force behind State of Connecticut grants to improve the beach seawalls and pier. For 20 years she spent Thursdays as a librarian at the Woodmont Public Library. She was a 2004 Woodmont Day Parade Marshal and twice nominated as a Milford Women’s Club “Living Treasure.”
Mrs Sheldon also was a multi-gallon blood donor, worked at Red Cross Blood Banks, the Legal Aid Society, tutored juveniles in the New Haven Courts, and transported patients for the American Cancer Society. In 1982 she was the GOP candidate for Board of Education. At age 97, Savin Dermatological used her for a study of anti-wrinkle creams. She drove her car until age 98 and the Council on Aging used her as a model. At age 99, she published an autobiography, offering perspectives on a hundred years of change.
Mrs Sheldon loved the water, swimming every good-weather day.
She donated her body to Yale University Medical School. A memorial service will be at 5 pm, Saturday, April 27, at the Mary Taylor Memorial Methodist Church, 168 Broad Street, Milford. Friends may call immediately thereafter, at her home at 6 Soundview Place, Morningside.
Memorial contributions may be made to the Woodmont Library, 16 Dixon Street, Milford CT 06460 or to the Morningside Association, PO Box 506, Milford CT 06460.