Obituary for Brenda J. Williamson (Sheehan)
Brenda J. (Sheehan) Williamson of Essex Junction was able to stay in her home until her final day with care from her loving family. She passed on November 14, 2017 at age 79 at the UVM Medical Center surrounded by her loved ones. Brenda was born in December 1937 in Brookline, MA to the late Joseph Sheehan and Helen Mahoney
Once the youngest of her eight children started school, she returned to school herself.
She completed her BS in 1980 and then her Masters of Education in 1982 at UVM with a 4.0 GPA.She was a Special Educator for 22 years, most recently at Burlington High School where she was awarded the Outstanding Vermont Teacher of the Year in 1995 and Outstanding Special Educator from VASEA, in 2000 the same year she retired. She was proud that today there are adults that can read and write because of her dedication and hard work.
Brenda was a lifelong reader and gardener and loved to share these interests with family and friends. She felt incredibly honored to be included in her children’s family vacations. Her favorite trips always included visits to the ocean especially Cape Cod. After retirement she enjoyed many trips to Europe with her friends. She was an advocate for understanding that mental health is part of your overall physical wellbeing, volunteering on the Community Advocacy Network Committee for the Howard Center for Human services from 1997- 2005.
On Sunday November 12th she was able to celebrate an early 80th birthday with 27 of her friends and family. The family had a wonderful party in the garden room of Waterworks with views of the upper falls. She looked forward to sharing the celebration of her life for weeks. It was a wonderful day for her and all of her guests.
Brenda’s greatest joy in her life was her large family of 8 children, 7 grandchildren and 1 great grandchild. Her children include Joan Safford, and husband George Safford, Paul Williamson, Helen Williamson, Dott Lamore and husband Steve Lamore, Jen Sorrell and husband Scott Sorrell, Ron J. Williamson, Kathie Terrill and her husband Bob Terrill and Desiree Fields. Her grandchildren, Morgan and Caitlin Safford, Brian and Dylan Sorrell, Meg Gallup and husband Jon Gallup, Jim Terrill, Shannon Begins and her great grandson Jon Begins. Her siblings Bill Sheehan, Joe Sheehan and Nancy MacMillan. She was predeceased by her daughter Kathie Terrill who passed in 2012 and her brother Joe Sheehan.
A Memorial Service will be held Saturday December 16th at 2pm at the First Unitarian Universalist Society in Burlington, Vermont. Her ashes will be placed in the UU memorial gardens in the spring during a private family ceremony. Memorial contributions in lieu of flowers in Brenda’s memory may be made to Howard Center’s Westview House at http://howardcenter.org/donate or PBS https://www.vermontpbs.org/
or UU at 152 Pearl Street Burlington, VT 05401.The family also invites you to share your memories and condolences by visiting www.awrfh.com.