Written by Dosia Laeyendecker
Sheila Taft Fitzgerald grew up in Richland Center, WI. With a B.S. in nursing from the University of Wisconsin, she sought to widen her world and got a job at Stanford University Hospital.
At Stanford she met her husband, William. Together they moved to Philadelphia so William could pursue a Ph.D. in economics and Sheila an M.S. in nursing, at the University of Pennsylvania. After finishing their degrees, the couple moved to the Washington, DC area, where William worked in the Department of Commerce and Sheila joined the faculty of Georgetown University.
The family, including their child, Laura, lived in Reston, VA, which Sheila describes as a wonderful, diverse community with great schools. In 1984, Sheila was accepted at Johns Hopkins University with a full scholarship to complete her Ph.D. in occupational health nursing. After she finished, she joined the faculty, with appointments in the School of Nursing and the School of Public Health.
William died in 1992, just before Laura started college at Georgetown University. Sheila remained in Reston for another eight years, but, tired of commuting, she moved to Baltimore. For 15 years before moving to Broadmead, she lived in Mays Chapel.
Since retirement, Sheila has been volunteering at Sherwood Episcopal Church and at Marian House, an organization founded by the Sisters of Mercy and the School Sisters of Notre Dame that provides rehabilitative services to women coming out of the prison system.
Sheila often drives to Albany to visit her daughter and two grandchildren. She also loves traveling and is planning a post-pandemic trip.