Eileen Sheldon of Sarasota, Florida, formerly of Wildwood Lake, Northampton, died July 17, 2021. She was 97 years old.
Born in Manhattan on May 24,1924 to John and Catherine Beebe, Eileen grew up in St. Albans, Queens and moved to Wildwood Lake, Northampton on Eastern Long Island. With her husband Leonard Sheldon, a noted architect, they raise six children in the country where they became active members in their community.
Eileen led an exciting life including becoming an airline hostess for Trans World Airlines and was crowned Miss TWA 1948. She was an active member of the Long Island Early Fliers Club. Eileen had a lifelong love of the theater beginning in high school and later in summer stock in Gloucester, Mass. and Ogunquit, Maine. She starred in over two dozen musicals with the North Fork Community Theatre in Mattituck and throughout the East End.
She was an avid golfer, once scoring a hole-in-one at Misty Creek Country Club in Sarasota, Florida, where she retired 20 years ago. Eileen felt a special connection to Sarasota through the memorial statue of the sailor and the nurse that is on display at Sarasota’s harborfront. Eileen was in Times Square the day WWII ended. She can be seen over the right shoulder of the sailor in the iconic Eisenstaedt photo that captured ¨the kiss¨ and the celebration in Times Square.
After 31 years working as the executive assistant to the manager of Gabreski Airport in Westhampton, she was recognized for her decades of service when Suffolk County dedicated a road at the Airport in her name: Sheldon Way. At the unveiling, Elieen exclaimed “Oh great! You´re also honoring my husband Leonard. He helped save this airport when it was threatened.”
Predeceased by her husband, her brother John Beebe, sister Eleanor O’Brien and son-in-law Dan Conway, she is survived by her six children; Robert of Sarasota, Florida, Gregory (Leslie) of Groton, Mass., Kathleen Stallmer (Dan) of Albany, NY, Christopher of Northampton, Constance Conway of Northampton and Gary of Westhampton. In addition, she is survived by five grandchildren and nine great grandchildren.
Eileen will be celebrated at a Mass of Christian burial to be held on Saturday, July 31, at 10 a.m. at St. John the Evangelist R.C. Church in Riverhead. Eileen will be laid to rest at Calverton Naional Cemetary with her WWII veteran husband.