Sheila Mae Larson will forever be remembered for her boundless energy. Her 1,000 watt smile and contagious enthusiasm were fueled by her love of life, interest in people, and curiosity for just about anything she came across.
She was terrifically creative and used this power to make the mundane magical and transform holidays into epic events. Her care and enthusiasm had no limits. She gave the same attention to her work and community as she did to her family and leaves behind a legacy of accomplishments, traditions, inspiration, and memories in all areas of her life.
Born in Detroit and raised in Grosse Ile, Michigan, Sheila was the middle child of Dr. Hal Carter and wife Geraldine. Her family was a musical one, often entertained and spent time boating, fishing, and waterskiing. She carried her love of the water and music throughout her life.
After graduating from Grosse Ile High School in 1970, she attended Grand Valley State University to study education. It was at Grand Valley where she met her husband Bob and started their 48-year love and family adventure. They were married in 1973 and soon after moved to Livingston County, where they both launched their careers in education.
Sheila worked for St. Joseph Catholic School in Howell as the reading center director before starting what would be a 27 year career in Fowlerville Community Schools. She taught middle school English, developed a technology education program, and dedicated extracurricular time to gifted and talented programs. She was awarded District Teacher of the Year in 2000 and commended by Grand Valley for her excellence as an educator. The second half of her career allowed her to combine all her experience and reach even more students and teachers as a Curriculum Director. She truly loved her work and put as much energy into it as anything else she enjoyed and valued.
Much like her professional accomplishments, the list of things Sheila enjoyed and valued is too long for the internet, but a few highlights are: Her community work, she was always involved in something; Relay for Life, Meals on Wheels, and the garden club at St. Agnes to name a sampling. She could fundraise, organize, and plan with great zest for the community and causes she believed in. One of the events dear to her was the Run for the Impact 5k which benefited the Family Impact Center in Fowlerville. She was the director of the race for nine years, tweaking and improving each year to make it an anticipated affair in the community.
She brought the same skills and joyfulness to the family traditions she started. The family Thanksgivings she hosted were legendary, oftentimes welcoming over 30 people. She helped create a family reunion that brought family together and had entertainment for all ages, 0-91. It even had a classic tug-o-war contest, egg toss, 3-legged race, and watermelon eating contest. She knew fun and she knew how to make fun happen.
A pioneer of extreme grandma-ing, Sheila could build a fort anywhere from any household or outdoor item, loved water-balloon fights and jumping in the bounce house with her grandkids. Most of all she loved how stories ignited the imagination. It’s estimated that she read tens of thousands of books over the years to her kids, grandkids, and students.
Travel was another thing that fueled her spark. She was always, always up for visiting places and could out-tour and out-sightsee anyone, city or country. In addition to her uncanny ability to strike up a conversation with any human being, anything from, but not limited to, art and history museums, craft and county fairs, boat races, fruit stands, guided tours, live music, off-the-wall museums and roadside attractions were on the table when traveling with Sheila. Even after traversing the nation, Northern Michigan was one of her favorite areas to be and she often went camping and kayaking on the Platte and Au Sable rivers and enjoyed yearly family get togethers near Gaylord.
She also loved gardening, sewing, cooking, family history and photos, scrapbooking, water aerobics, jogging, walking, the outdoors, crafts, going out for breakfast, snail mail, decorating for birthdays and all major and minor holidays, parades, events, weird gifts, sitting around a campfire, and so many other things. All of the interests in her full life created more ways to connect with people, which was what mattered to her, what gave her that trademark energy, and how she will be remembered.
Sheila’s spirit and legacy are continued by her husband Robert Larson, son Matthew Larson and wife Meg; grandchildren Bart, Sydney, Nathaniel, and Jacob; daughter Sara Kaye Larson; son David Larson and wife Lacey; grandchildren Arvel, Morgan, Abagail, Lyanna, and Stella; daughter Kathleen Larson Rogers and husband Joe; sister Kaye Bennet; a loving extended family, close friends, and everyone that has chatted, prayed, sang, laughed, ran, or walked with or been inspired, helped, or taught by the beloved wife, mother, grandma, sister, aunt, cousin, friend and teacher: Sheila Mae Larson! (she also loved exclamation points)
To Donate to the Family Impact Center please visit https://familyimpactcenter.com/donate
To send flowers to Sheila's family, please visit our floral store.
Family Impact Center
735 N. Grand, Fowlerville MI 48836