The Life of Shirley J Sheffey

Shirley Jennings Sheffey, age 94, passed away peacefully on July 9, 2019, at Brandywine Assisted Living in Alexandria, VA. She was born in Rye, NY, the only child of Vera and George C. Jennings. She was a 1942 graduate of Mt. St. Mary’s on The Hudson. Shirley is survived by daughter, Katherine Douglas and her husband, Richard Douglas of Keswick, VA; daughter, Theresa Sheffey and her husband Andy Miller of Alexandria, VA.

Shirley was an accomplished equestrian and showed at Madison Square Garden, NY in the 1940’s. She had two beloved horses, Tontine and Highland Honey who were boarded at the Sleepy Hollow Country Club. Over the years she cherished her sweet dogs: Tuffy and Toro; cats: Timmy#1, Timmy#2, Angora, Nick, Nora and Timothy.

In 1947 Shirley was employed as the secretary to the Commandant of Cadets at the NY Military Academy in Cornwall, NY when she met her future husband, John Preston Sheffey, III of Marion, VA at the West Point Officers Club. They were married at The West Point Chapel in 1949. Shirley was a devoted army officers’ wife and enjoyed her service while stationed in Heidelberg, Germany, Ft. Hood, TX, Ft. Leavenworth, KA, Carlisle, PA and Alexandria, VA.

Shirley and John were divorced in 1979. She moved with her younger daughter, Theresa, to Boca Raton, FL to be near her half brother, Theodore Jennings and her father’s sister, Cecil Jennings. Over the next 10 years she had a career in real estate and volunteered to create the Florida Chapter of EX-POSE. EX-POSE provides information for spouses regarding separation and divorce from active duty, reserve, or retired military service members. She worked tirelessly to help fellow ex-spouses who were married to military for 20 years or more gain eligibility for a share of the military pension by right upon divorce.

Shirley and John were reunited in 1987 when she and Theresa moved back to Alexandria to care for him as he was dying from hepatitis-C. Shirley spent 25 happy years in her condominium at Montebello before moving into an apartment a year ago in The Brandywine of Alexandria. She was one of the founding residents and couldn’t have been happier. The daughters are grateful to The Brandywine and Goodwin House Hospice for the thoughtful care of their mother.

Shirley was a lifetime member of The Junior League of America.

A traditional Episcopal Memorial Service followed by a celebration of life will take place at Christ Church Old Town Alexandria from 4:00 pm to 7:00 pm on Saturday, July 27th, 2019. Shirley will be buried at Ivy Hill Cemetery of Alexandria, VA. Contributions may be made in her honor to Christ Church, Alexandria, VA, The Humane Society of the U.S. or Goodwin House Hospice Alexandria, VA.

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