Tonia Renee SHELDON
January 24, 1954 – October 6, 2020
Toni Renee Sheldon became our ancestor on October 6, 2020. She left us peacefully in her home surrounded by her family. Toni was born January 24, 1954 in Everett, WA to her late mother Nola Heminger (Sisseton Wahpeton Oyate) and her late father Melvin R Sheldon, Sr. (Tulalip Tribes). She joins her brother Michael Sheldon, father Stan W. Fox, grandmother Theresa (Young) Sheldon and grandfather Robert W. Sheldon of Tulalip and her grandmother Cora (Stai) Heminger (Norway), her aunties Rose (Sheldon) Lewis and Gwen (Sheldon) Hatch along with her cousin Dexter Hatch and dear friend Marty Hadley.
She leaves behind to carry on her legacy of love and grace: Her oldest daughter Terra (David) Perrin along with her five children Justine, Emily, Kailani, Ma’Kylah, and Amenya. Her second oldest Theresa Sheldon and son Klayton. Her third daughter Shawnee Sheldon (Jeff Monsegur), six children Adrian, Jaidin, Isabelle, Lilly, Kaidence, Madison, and Alexis. Her fourth daughter Heidi Follestad and daughter Kayleena, and her youngest, Courtney “Bird” (Anthony) Jefferson, son’s Mason and Baby Buffalo (Anthony Jr). Her brother Melvin R. Sheldon Jr, sisters Tina (Jim) Dillon & Nola Two Feathers and niece Alicia (Clayton) Horne (Michael Sheldon’s daughter) and aunt Marlene (Heminger) Peterson.
Toni grew up in Skagit County in Rebel Retreat in Alger, Wa. She graduated from Burlington High School in 1972. She attended the Institute of American Indian Arts (IAIA) in New Mexico focusing on silversmithing. She graduated from Skagit Valley College with her Nursing Degree. She worked in Oncology in Skagit Valley Hospital. She loved being able to help others. In the 80’s she moved back to Tulalip with her girls. She became a social worker for Indian Child Welfare for Tulalip Tribes, volunteered on the Sea-Yaht-Sub Committee, joined the Tulalip Community Robert's Rules of Order meetings and was the only female to pull canoe for Tulalip in the 1989 Paddle to Seattle. Art was always a part of her life, from painting the Tulalip logo on the old gym, selling her impressive dream catchers, to creating Grandma’s storyboards from clay and imagination. Music was always in her life, as was singing and dancing.
Our mother Toni had so many aspects to her life. She had an NA/AA family, a cultural family, an arts family, a christian family and took in anyone and everyone who needed family as she knew what it felt like to go without. Preventing teen pregnancy was a goal of hers. She kept a condom bowl on the kitchen table with no questions asked in Silver Village. She helped guide many and always embraced people for who they are. She spent her last decade being an amazing grandma spending loving moments with her grandkids. We thank all the caretakers who gave our mother her independence. She will be greatly missed.
Toni Sheldon’s graveside service will be at Mission Beach Cemetery, Tulalip, WA on Saturday, October 10, 2020 at 11:00 AM.
Saturday, October 10, 2020