Sheila M. Nelson

Sheila M. Nelson

LANCASTER—Sheila Magee Nelson of Lancaster passed away June 28, after a short illness.

Sheila and her husband, Gordon, met on the campus of Ohio State University where he studied veterinary medicine and she earned a degree in medical technology. Her degree was from University of Miami in Ohio, which had a cooperative agreement with OSU.

Sheila said there were few women studying medicine at the time and several professors objected to having any. She persevered and excelled. 

She was born September 21, 1941, and grew up in Hillsboro, Ohio, where her father owned and operated a popular restaurant. After marrying in 1963, Sheila and Gordon lived for a short while in San Francisco before moving back east.

As lovers of the outdoors, they enjoyed telling the story of how they moved. They wanted a home near mountains and beaches, so they ran their fingers down a map of I-95 until they hit Richmond, which lies equally distant to both. They moved the dog, cat and toddler son to this city, where they did not know anyone. Together they built Tuckahoe Veterinary Hospital in western Henrico County. In Henrico, they raised their two sons, Jeffrey and Justin, and were active in Trinity Lutheran Church, Avalon Recreation Association and Raintree Swim and Racquet Club. 

In 2004, they retired to Merry Point on the Corrotoman River and were active in Grace Episcopal Church and local sailing events.

She was well known and loved as an avid competitor in both sports and intellectual pursuits. Sheila was a longtime competitive singles tennis player and joined the whole family to race sailboats for many years. Throughout her adult life she enjoyed playing bridge with friends.

Her favorite activities at home were reading and gardening. She painstakingly built and tended flower gardens around their house and grounds.

Sheila and Gordon cruised the Chesapeake Bay regularly on their sailboat, “Celebration.” Together or with friends, they traveled frequently around the world. 

Sheila is survived by her husband and sons; a daughter-in-law, Jennifer (Jeffrey); and three grandchildren, Katherine, Caroline and Griffin. 

She is predeceased by her sister, Thea Zimmerman; and parents, Denver and Mary Ellen Magee of Hillsboro, Ohio.

A service in celebration of her life will be held at 11 a.m. July 16 at Grace Episcopal Church in Kilmarnock at a time to be determined. In lieu of flowers, please send donations in her honor to Children’s Hospital of Richmond at VCU or to a charity of your choice.