Marianne Sheehy, artist, teacher

Marianne M. (Lamby) Sheehy, 90, of Loomis Village, South Hadley MA, passed away peacefully on January 17, 2016 with the love of her family surrounding her. She was born March 10, 1925 in Bockum-Hoevel, Germany, daughter of Hubert and Mathilde (Wieldt) Lamby.

Marianne’s parents were teachers with a great appreciation for music, the arts and nature. In the tumult of WWII, Marianne’s family was torn apart when she was a teen. Still, for a time she was able to study languages at the University of Göttingen, Germany. After the war, she worked as an interpreter for the U.S. occupation forces at Fritzlar, Germany where she met Thomas M. Sheehy, a U.S. Army GI. In 1947, they married and came to the United States. Marianne and Tom raised five daughters and over the years, the far-flung family grew, with grandchildren and great-grandchildren in Spain and Mexico.

Marianne and Tom lived an adventurous life, traveling widely. They spent many years living and working around the world: in the Mojave Desert, Spain, Nigeria, Thailand, and Germany. Eventually, they settled in Connecticut — most recently in Ridgefield — where they were active and beloved in their community and at the First Congregational Church.

Marianne was both very social and contemplative by nature. She thrived in the shared learning environment of a classroom. She taught middle and elementary school, and high school languages. She also reflected deeply on her experiences and was concerned for people affected by war.

Marianne loved art, music, history, and languages. She studied art history at the University of California at Berkeley, earning her BA in 1976, and Spanish history and culture at the Universidad Complutense, Madrid, Spain. She spoke four languages.

Throughout her life, Marianne created art in various media. She was a weaver and an accomplished painter of flowers, still lifes and landscapes in watercolor and pastels. She painted “to express my joy in living and communicate harmony, rhythm and beauty through a gentle sense of order in space.” She loved participating in shows. She was a proud member of the National League of American Pen Women and several artists’ guilds. Marianne dedicated herself to learning about the arts and crafts in each place she called home. Around the world, she sought out local artists and artisans, enjoyed making their acquaintance, and collected their work.

Marianne moved to Loomis Village in South Hadley in 2010 after Tom’s death. She soon became a docent at the Mount Holyoke College Art Museum. She also joined the Center Church (First Congregational UCC) in South Hadley and found joy in shared worship and the open embrace of the church community. At Loomis Village, she made good friendships, especially that of her dear friend and close companion, Don Donihue.

Marianne is remembered by her many friends as a creative, intelligent, vibrant person, always an explorer and a teacher with an ability to fascinate, engage and inspire others.

Marianne was predeceased in 2008 by her husband, Thomas M. Sheehy. She will be dearly missed by her daughters, Barbara Sheehy of Alhaurín, Spain; Christine Sheehy of Chilches, Spain; Karin Sheehy and spouse Sara Powers, of Leyden, MA; Lisa Sheehy and spouse Eric Bloomquist of Williamsburg, MA; and Pamela Sheehy and spouse Adriane Karaziaki of Danbury, CT; by her close companion, Don Donihue of South Hadley; by her 5 grandchildren, Mónica Castell Sheehy; Carlos Castell Sheehy; Daniel Huescar Sheehy and spouse Lourdes; Heidi Huescar Sheehy and spouse Samuel; Javier Huescar Sheehy and spouse Dania; and by her beloved great-grandchildren, Javier, Alberto, Belén and Lourdes (Lulu). Marianne is survived and will be missed by her brother, Dr. Bernhard Lamby, her sister, Annegret Royal, and their families; her sister-in-law, Margaret Ulman; and by nieces, nephews, and other relatives. She leaves cherished friends around the world.

A memorial service will be held January 30 at noon at the First Congregational Church of Ridgefield, CT. A Celebration of Life gathering will be held at a later date within the Loomis Village community. Beers & Story South Hadley Funeral Home has been entrusted with the arrangements. Memorial donations may be made to: The Enchanted Circle Theatre, 4 Open Square Way, Ste 206, Holyoke, MA 01040, to support creativity and the arts in education; The Cancer Connection, 41 Locust St., Northampton MA 01060,; and Founders Hall, 193 Danbury Rd., Ridgefield, CT 06877, to support senior learning and recreation. For details, please visit