Sheila died peacefully at 91, completing what she often described as the most fortunate life anyone could have. Predeceased by her husband, George Connell; her parents, B.W. Horan and Dorothy Blackstock Horan; her sister and brother-in-law, Mary and Bill Holford; her brother, Desmond Horan and sister-in-law and brother-in-law, Mary Louise and Ian Hose. Sheila leaves her children, Jim (Bev), Caroline (Peter Hill), Tom (Sara Griffiths) and Meg (Kevin French), as well as her brother, Bill Horan (Mary) and sister-in-law, Lois Horan. Beloved Grannie to Chris and Jenny Connell, John Lee Hill, Tim and Louise Connell, and Aidan (Jenna) and Caroline (Meghan) French. Sheila will be fondly remembered by many nieces, nephews, godchildren and friends.
Growing up in Toronto and attending Havergal College, Sheila reveled in summers spent with cousins, roaming the woods around Lake Simcoe. After meeting George at the University of Toronto, she launched a career in social work, a field she returned to from time to time during the hectic years of raising four children. Sheila will be remembered for her many contributions to Western University and the University of Toronto, in partnership with George, when he served as president of those institutions. Summers at Lake Simcoe continued, later providing treasured time with her grandchildren.
Sheila was inspired by feminism and social justice causes, such as the anti-apartheid work that took her to South Africa in the 1970s as part of an Anglican Church delegation. She loved Tolstoy and a good gin and tonic; she had a wicked tennis slice and played formidable bridge. Her warmth and compassion drew people to her, and her judgment-free support helped many through difficult times. She left the world a better place.
Sheila’s family would like to thank the caring staff at Christie Gardens.
The family will receive friends at the Humphrey Funeral Home A.W. Miles – Newbigging Chapel, 1403 Bayview Avenue (south of Davisville) from 4:00 – 7:00 p.m. Friday, January 20th. A memorial service will be held at Church of the Redeemer, 162 Bloor Street West, Toronto, on Saturday, January 21st at 11:00 a.m.
Condolences may be forwarded through www.humphreymiles.com.
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