MaryEllen Sheehy-Reed of Doylestown, Pa. died at the University of Pennsylvania Hospital on October 19, 2020. She was 64.
MaryEllen lived life with endless humor and gusto. She provided loving guidance and encouragement as a devoted mother, grandmother, aunt, sister and friend. When MaryEllen said, “I have your back,” it was unconditional in every way. Known for her generosity and her problem-solving skills, she significantly impacted the lives of many.
Informed by her deep sense of spirituality, MaryEllen used a hands-on approach to philanthropy, identifying people who could succeed if given a leg up. She provided housing, education and personal assistance to many people both locally and across the country.
Of special note was MaryEllen’s assistance to a family who made their living off a garbage dump in Nicaragua. She traveled to the site, furnished the family with a home, a farm and an occupational consultant, ensured educational opportunities for their children and supported the family for years. An award-winning documentary directed by Michael Dominic, titled “Clean Hands” addresses the subject. Among other charities, she supported the Boys and Girls Club of Mercer County, New Jersey and Democratic candidates for various elected offices.
MaryEllen spent her final days enjoying her formal garden and her beautiful home decorated with artifacts from around the world. Over the years, she entertained family and friends with creative flair, providing an extra dose of fun with her infectious laugh. She traveled extensively and helped her nephew, Michael Sheehy, finance and build a school for children in Tibet.
After graduating from the University of Vermont, she started her career with the Hartford Insurance Company and subsequently launched a highly successful employee benefits firm with her late husband, Russell Reed.
MaryEllen is survived by her daughter, Autumn, her husband, Benjamin Wilde; her stepson, Peter Reed, his wife, Gina and her grandson, Dane Reed. She is also survived by her siblings Patricia J. Sheehy, William V. Sheehy, III, Jane Burnier and Kelly Kolodney; seven nieces and nephews and seven grandnieces and nephews.
Due to Covid-19 a memorial service will be held at a later date.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions in MaryEllen’s name may be made to an organization of the donor’s choice which supports environmental issues.