Sheila Burke DeVriesFebruary 14, 1953 ~ November 29, 2017 (age 64)
Sheila Burke DeVries, 64, loving wife of Edward DeVries of Ripon, passed away on November 29, 2017 after a long and courageous battle with liver disease. At the time of her passing she was in the loving care of the staff at Alexander Cohen Hospice House in Hughson.
Sheila was born on February 14, 1953 in Glendale to Robert and Mary Burke, joining her big sister Shirley. She lived her entire childhood in Southern California and attended all of her school years in the Culver City School District, graduating from Culver City High School in 1971. She had a remarkable singing voice and loved performing. She was a frequent soloist in her high school choir. A crowning achievement was her role as Marion the Librarian in her school production of The Music Man in 1971. After high school she attended Los Angeles City College and Northridge State University. She also spent one notable summer singing and acting in the old Southern California Busch Gardens shows.
Sheila was a lover of music and children. After moving to the Modesto area, she was the librarian at Salida Middle School for 21 years before her retirement due to health issues. She was a kind, gentle and caring person whom students always could count on for help. Her library became known as a place of quiet study and a safe haven from the pressures of student social life. Students and staff loved her special author units where she would present and read in costume and character.
Sheila was blessed with her son, Rick Jones, in 1975 and spent many happy years being a mother to her incredibly gifted son. In December of 2004 she married her life partner, Salida teacher Ed DeVries, blending their two families and enjoying watching their sons grow into successful young men. Sadly, her son Rick passed away in 2014 at the age of 38, a loss that changed her life forever.
Sheila was a very spiritual woman. She was a Christ-follower, secure in her knowledge that she belonged, body and soul, to her faithful Savior Jesus Christ. In her final weeks she was so ready to join Him! She used her beautiful singing voice often in worship services until it was ravaged by effects of her disease. She was a member of Ripon’s Immanuel Christian Reformed Church. Her hobbies, besides music and singing, included dancing, drama, long walks and hikes, traveling with Ed, reading and writing.
In addition to her husband Ed of Ripon, she is survived by her sister Shirley (Bob) Penney of Medford, Oregon; stepson Jason (Mishaela) DeVries and grand boys Kellon and Gideon of Walnut Creek, California; niece Barbra Jean Penney of Portland, Oregon; nephews Ryan (Andrea) Penney and sons Derick and Dylan; and Jonathon (Nichole) Penney and their six beautiful children, Brayden, Felicity, Alexis, Olivia, Gemma and Nolan of Eagle Point, Oregon. She was predeceased by her parents, in-laws and her son Rick.
She had a big heart and soft spot for all children, young people and cats that needed a home or some loving. Her outgoing personality made her loved by all who knew her. Her passing is greatly lamented, and she will be missed by all who knew her.
A memorial service will be held on Saturday, December 16, 2017 at 2:00 P.M. at the Immanuel Christian Reformed Church (the corner of Fourth and Orange) in Ripon. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to your choice of The Wilderness Society, Camp Jack Hazard (in the High Sierra near Sonora Pass), or Community Hospice in Sheila’s name. Deegan Ripon Memorial Chapel is in charge of arrangements.