Mavis S. 'Sherry' Sheedy, art teacher

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Mavis S. "Sherry" Sheedy, a retired Baltimore public schools art teacher and longtime museum docent, died April 4 of congestive heart failure at Carroll Hospital Center in Westminster.

The Reisterstown resident was 74.


The daughter of a civil engineer and a registered nurse, Mavis Sherron Grantham was born and raised in Whitney, Texas, where she graduated in 1956 from Whitney High School.

She earned a bachelor's degree in 1960 in Spanish from Baylor University in Waco, Texas, and later earned a master's degree in art education from Towson University.


In 1960, she married James T. Sheedy Sr., an AAI engineer, whose work took the couple and their children to Turkey, Germany, Greece, Egypt and Israel.

They settled in the early 1970s in Reisterstown when Mr. Sheedy went to work for the Chesapeake & Potomac Telephone Co.

Mrs. Sheedy began teaching art in city public schools when she joined the faculty of Paul Laurence Dunbar Senior High School in the 1970s.

She later taught at several other city elementary schools and was teaching at Pimlico Elementary School when she retired in 2006.

Mrs. Sheedy began working as a docent at the Baltimore Museum of Art in 2002 and went full time the next year.

"Sherry was a wonderful docent and brought lots of experience to her work because she had been an art teacher and enjoyed working individually with children," said Carol E. Davidson of Finksburg, who also was a BMA docent and close friend.

"She was primarily a school tour docent, where she worked with primary students and all the way to high school students. She also worked with the Close Encounter Program, which was a fourth-grade program between city schools and the BMA," said Ms. Davidson, an art teacher who retired from Kenwood High School.

"Sherry was very warm, open, giving and a friend to everyone," said Ms. Davidson. "She was always incredibly helpful. "


Mrs. Sheedy generally handled three tours a month.

"Sometimes when another docent had an obligation, she'd volunteer to take their tours, so she really did many tours," said Ms. Davidson.

In addition to her work at the museum, Mrs. Sheedy was also a supernumerary with the Baltimore Opera Company and designed sets for the Glyndon School of Ballet.

"She transformed stages into exotic fairy-tale settings that overlooked no detail, such as painting a portrait of the lead dancer that would be slashed during the performance," said her daughter, Kathleen Sheedy Lefkowits of Columbia.

She was an active member of the Maryland Art League and the Ruth Patterson Women's Circle.

She also tutored dyslexic students with their reading and mentored art teachers.


Mrs. Sheedy was an avid gardener and nature lover. She planted acres of daffodils and tulips at her Reisterstown home, raised a baby squirrel and adopted stray cats.

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She was a gourmet cook and enjoyed entertaining family and friends, and was especially known for her holiday dinners.

"No occasion was complete without Nini's rolls," said Ms. Lefkowits.

Mrs. Sheedy continued working as an artist, and in addition to painting landscapes, still-lifes and portraits in oils and watercolors, she sculpted and was a potter.

She was a member of Glyndon United Methodist Church.

Plans for a memorial service to be held in Whitney, Texas, are incomplete.


In addition to her daughter, Mrs. Sheedy is survived by her husband of 53 years, who retired from Verizon; a son, James T. Sheedy Jr. of Hampstead; a brother, R.Q. Grantham of Whitney; four grandchildren; and many nieces and nephews.