Sheila Mary Hennessy Cleaves

June 15, 1936November 3, 2020

Sheila Mary Hennessy Cleaves, 84, of Riverside, Connecticut, went to be with the Lord on Tuesday evening November 3 2020. She was the wife of Eugene Lee Cleaves, Jr. who survives her. They were married on Feb. 7, 1959 in Scarsdale, New York and shared over 60 wonderful years together.

She was born on June 15, 1936, in St. Louis City, Missouri. She was the daughter of Eugene William Hennessy and Dorothy Edwards O’Brien Hennessy. Sheila grew up in Scarsdale New York, attended The Ursuline School and graduated from Manhattanville College in Purchase, New York. She later earned a Masters in Education from Fairfield University.

Sheila was a devoted member of Saint Catherine of Siena Church in Riverside. She was a longtime member of Innis Arden Golf Club and active with golf, the swim team, paddle tennis and her beloved women’s tennis team where she developed many lifelong friendships. She was a dedicated volunteer with the Junior League of Greenwich and the Greenwich Public School System.

Sheila was a loving wife, mother, grandmother and great-grandmother. She and her husband ‘Jinx’ raised three children in Greenwich and were actively involved in all of their many sports and extra-curricular activities. Sheila and Jinx were inseparable and loved to play golf and have lunch together. After the kids were grown they enjoyed travelling. Sheila also enjoyed her lunch group calling themselves the “Four Spoons” and always looked forward to a fun lunch outing with them. She was exceptionally active in the busy lives of her grandchildren and ‘Mimi’ will be missed dearly by all whom she touched and impacted. Mimi loved to host holidays when all the family would be together at her house. Sheila cherished her husband, her family and her friends and was loved by so many.

Sheila is survived by her husband Jinx, her daughter and son in law, Esther Cleaves Burke and Bryant W. Burke, of Austin, TX; son and daughter-in-law, Eugene Lee Cleaves III and Samantha Fahnestock Cleaves, of Riverside; son and daughter-in-law, Daniel O’Brien Cleaves and Kimberly Cleaves, of Summit, NJ; 14 grandchildren and 7 great- grandchildren.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be given in Sheila’s name to the Bendheim Cancer Center of Greenwich.

The family wishes to extend our sincere thanks to all the wonderful Doctors and nurses at Greenwich Hospital with special thanks to Casey and Dr Hollister. Our family holds a special place in our hearts for her loving caregivers Alberta and Nana.

A private burial will take place.



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Mary Benoit

November 5, 2020

My condolences on the loss of your wife, mother and grandmother. Sheila was a beautiful person and I am so glad I could call her my friend. She was a wonderful tennis player & I will miss our times together both on and off the courts. May you cherish her lovely memories. Here is one of our tennis group.


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