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Waters, Sheila Cross

1928-2013 Sheilah Ross, of Bedford, NY and Nantucket, MA died serenely at home in Bedford on Saturday, December 14, 2013. Swathed in her usual brightly-patterned pillowcases and gown, she simply and quietly stopped breathing. She was born April 25, 1928 in New York City. She graduated from The Brearley School in New York City in 1946 and Vassar College in 1950. Mrs. Waters was a successful fashion model from her late teens into her 30s, appearing on the covers of Vogue and Harper's Bazaar. She devoted herself to her two daughters' academic and cultural education and was very much a part of the New York City 1960s political scene. She was proud of her work as a docent at the Metropolitan Museum of Art and of teaching art at New York City public schools. A trained artist, Sheilah presented art programs for the Mount Kisco Day Care Center and the Bedford Library. Sheilah found solace in historical novels and the New York Times crossword. She measured her medical recovery by her ability to finish increasingly difficult crosswords, and a day without the New York Times was not a day. Her tremendous loyalty to her old friends also carried her through. Sheilah took a festive approach to everything in her life: her home was adorned with pattern, color, brightness and humorous detail. One of the keys to her happiness is that she happily anticipated and then savored the small things: a rich dessert, a new book, the TV show MASH, a Porthault washcloth on sale, the bias cut of a dress, the opportunity to be silly. Her wide group of friends always looked forward to her lively and glamorous parties, where she was in her element. She was treated with charm and good manners by everyone she met as she went through her day. It is fitting she died shortly after a day of decorating the tree and wrapping presents. Christmas was her favorite time, because it is all about ornament, festivity and celebration of loyalty and love. All in all, she was what her first husband called, "a classy dame". She is survived by her husband, William Waters; her daughters Amanda Cross and Lisa Pownall-Gray (Dickon); her three granddaughters: Lindsay, Ella and Saskia; her brother Christopher Ross; her cousin Jane Frost; and her favorite niece and 'third daughter' Vickie Green. Her two husbands, Theodore Cross and Regis Gignoux, predeceased her. A memorial service will be held at St. Matthew's Episcopal Church on Saturday, January 11 at 11am (382 Cantitoe St, Bedford NY 10506). A celebration of her life will be held on Nantucket in the summer. Donations in Sheilah's memory may be made to the Bedford Free Library (32 Village Green, Bedford NY 10506), the Artists Association of Nantucket (Box 1104, Nantucket MA 02554.