Sheila M. Cournoyer, of Blackstone, MA and formerly of North Smithfield, RI, passed peacefully surrounded by her family on January 26, 2020. She was born in Boston, MA on October 30, 1939. She was the sixth child of William F. and Genevieve Walsh’s twelve children and grew up in Blackstone, MA. She was predeceased by her sisters Carol and Constance and her brothers James and David.
She married George Cournoyer in 1960 with whom she had four children Madonna, Gregory, James, and Jeffrey. She was a tutor in the Title I reading program at Halliwell Elementary School in North Smithfield, and later worked in the Alumni Office at Brown University.
Sheila was a great raconteur with a mischievous sense of humor and an infectious smile that brought joy to all who knew her. She was self-reliant but had great empathy and generosity for others and always unselfishly gave more than she took. She was a voracious reader, an avid bird watcher, and a fabulous cook with a collection of cookbooks that was exceeded only by her collection of history books. She was an incredible wife, mother, and grandmother who loved spending time with her family and left them with many beautiful, funny, and unforgettable memories that they will cherish always.
Sheila was beloved by her family and will be missed especially by her husband, George; daughter Madonna; sons Gregory, James, and Jeffrey and their respective wives Kelly, Shaun, and Kimberly; her grandchildren and great-grandchild; and many other family members including siblings and in-laws Bill and JoAnne Walsh of North Smithfield, RI; Carolyn Walsh of Blackstone, MA; Helen Walsh of Hyannis, MA; Brenda Graves of Falmouth, MA; Kathleen Fantoni of Wickford, RI; Eileen Donavan of Worcester, MA; Sharon and Bill Kennedy of San Antonio, TX; Mary Jane Bernstein of North Conway, NH; Patricia Nicholson of Hyannis, MA; Constance and Edmund Barrett of Cumberland, RI; Pauline and Ronald Bouvier of Cumberland, RI; and Paul and Rachel Cournoyer of North Smithfield, RI; and Terry and John Ritacco of Amherst, NH; as well as her many nieces, nephews, and friends.
Her funeral will be held Friday, January 31, 2020 at 8:30 AM from the Holt Funeral Home, 510 South Main St., Woonsocket, with a Mass of Christian Burial at 10 AM in St. Paul’s Church, 48 St. Paul Street, Blackstone. Burial will follow in St. Paul’s Cemetery, Farm St., Blackstone. Calling hours are Thursday from 5-8 PM in the funeral home. In lieu of flowers, Sheila’s family asks that you consider making a donation to the Bone Marrow Transplant program at Roger Williams Medical Center, 825 Chalkstone Ave, Providence, RI 02908.
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