Sheila A. Thomas
June 10, 1948 – May 14, 2018
Sheila Cassidy Thomas – North Bergen, NJ
Sheila Cassidy Thomas, beloved wife, mother, grandmother, sister, and friend, passed away peacefully at home on May 14, 2018, nine months after being diagnosed with ovarian cancer. Sheila was born on June 10, 1948 in Lynn, Massachusetts, daughter of Anne Cassidy, and the first of five children. She lived most of her life in Massachusetts, before relocating to the greater New York City area in 2012 to pursue her career in acting and modeling. Sheila had three children: William, Lauren and Gregory, who were born in 1970, 1972 and 1975 respectively. She stayed at home to raise her children and finished her bachelor’s degree at Salem State College in 1978. After attending graduate school and receiving her teaching credential, Sheila worked as an educator, primarily at St. Mary’s High School in Lynn, MA, where she previously attended as a student. In the mid-1980’s, Sheila blazed a new trail and became one of the first women to work in technology sales, working her way to an executive sales position with Sony. In the early 2000’s, Sheila again transitioned careers and became a successful actor and model, starting with appearances in community theater productions at Priscilla Beach Theater in Plymouth, MA, progressing through appearances in television commercials and print ads, and culminating with multiple appearances in Hollywood films and becoming a member of the Screen Actors Guild.
Sheila blazed yet another path when she married Jeanne O’Brien in 2004, soon after the Massachusetts Supreme Court legalized same sex marriage. Sheila and Jeanne were best friends, mates and partners for 31 loving years, and Sheila became a step mother to Jeanne’s daughter Julie. Together, Sheila and Jeanne have been known as “Nana” and “Nini” to their twelve grandchildren. Throughout her life and during her brief illness, Sheila was surrounded by family and friends, who were drawn in by her loving nature and selfless interest in others. Sheila always helped out her family and friends whenever they were in need. While Sheila had many roles throughout her accomplished life and multiple careers, her favorite roles were “Mom” and “Nana.” Though we lost her too soon, Sheila will live on in the hearts and minds of the many whose lives she touched. Sheila is survived by her partner and wife of 31 years, Jeanne O’Brien; her children and their spouses: William and Aya Thomas, Lauren and Mark Lewis, Gregory and Jaime Thomas, and Julie and Brian Rizzi; her twelve grandchildren: Noah, Liam, Ilya, Iain and Brady Thomas; Jared, Jordan and Justin Lewis; Gram and Griffin Thomas; Siena and Erin Rizzi; and her four brothers: John, Robert, Brian and Kevin Cassidy and many nieces and nephews.
Family and Friends are invited to attend Sheila’s visitation on Sunday, May 20, 2018 from 4 to 8 pm at Cuffe-McGinn Funeral Home, 157 Maple Street, Lynn, MA 01904. A Celebration of Life will be held in the funeral home on Monday, May 21, 2018 at 10 am. Burial will follow in the Harmony Cemetery on Rt. 97 in Georgetown, MA.
Celebration of Life
Cuffe-McGinn Funeral Home
157 Maple Street
- Visiting Sunday, May 20, 2018
Sheila A. Thomas
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May 21, 2018
Dear Brian and Kevin:
I am so sorry to hear of your sister's passing. It seems to me that although she is gone too soon, she lived life to its fullest. God bless all of you at this time.
Marie Jamieson Meehan
May 19, 2018
Now you are a Shooting Star !
Save a good seat for me .
May 19, 2018
I’m so sorry for your loss. May you find comfort in God’s promise of a resurrection where we will be reunited with our loved ones who have passed away and will never be separated by death again - John 5:28, 29; Revelation 21:3,4
May 18, 2018
Jeannie and family, so sorry to hear about the loss of our dear friend Sheila. I have so many fond memories of times spent
together. it was a privilege to know her. May each passing day comfort you knowing she will not be forgotten.
May 16, 2018
To the O’Brien and Thomas Families,
I am so deeply saddened by Sheila’s passing. She was a tremendous person, always with a smile and great attitude. I know she loved her grandchildren and family, as it was always evident. I enjoyed when she would walk the track in the mornings and she would stop by my classroom. She still tried to keep in touch, even after her granddaughter was no longer my student. I’m sorry for your loss and my thoughts and prayers are with you all.
ANNE KANE (GERTZ)
May 16, 2018
My big cousin who was just always there for us. Being one of the older cousins Sheila had graduated college and had started her family when I was old enough to realize what an inspirational, kind, beautiful woman she was. She helped keep us all together planning family reunions, dinner at Prince Pizza and bringing her Mom (Aunt Anne) to visit my Mom. Jeanne you made her so happy and you were a great addition to the family. I had run into Sheila a few at when my daughters were young and they still remember how nice she was and how she helped my daughter when she was going to Florida. Kind, generous, a great sense of humor and just gorgeous is our Sheila.