Welcome to the memorial page for

Sheila Guild Bailey

November 24, 1936 ~ December 22, 2017 (age 81)

Sheila Guild Bailey of Chattanooga, Tennessee, passed away at The Terrace in Chattanooga on December 22, 2017, with fresh greens on her front door, ready for the Christmas season.


A lifelong member of the Episcopal Church, Sheila felt particularly inspired by the Christmas Eve service — the familiar words from the prayer book, the decoration of the church, her favorite carols and hymns.


Born in Philadelphia in 1936 to Eleanor and Mike McHale, Sheila grew up in Merchantville, New Jersey, alongside her older brother, Michael; she graduated from Merchantville High School in 1955 and then attended Pembroke College at Brown University, where she took an A.B. in American Literature in 1959. Later that year Sheila married her longtime love, A. William (“Bill”) Bailey, also of Merchantville, her husband of 45 years. Sheila and Bill started a family — a daughter and then a son — in Moorestown, New Jersey; the family moved to Annandale, Virginia, in 1968; and then to Signal Mountain, Tennessee, in 1975.


Sheila cherished her friends across the country, dialing them up for a chat whenever the idea struck. Trips to the New Jersey coast and Nantucket beaches brought Sheila great joy, and, in coastless Tennessee, she deemed a backyard swimming pool necessary to have a swim with her buddies on a sunny day. Ever ready to entertain, whether in summer around the pool, or at Christmastime in a home decorated for the holiday season, Sheila loved being surrounded by laughter, wit, music, and dance (yes, Sheila could do the “Charleston”).


As for a career, Sheila discovered a vocation as a substance abuse counselor at CADAS, where she worked all hours to help people put their lives back in order. Sheila helped establish and run a half-way house there. Because of this work, on the streets and in the stores of Chattanooga, men and women from all walks of life would call out, suddenly, “Sheila! Sheila!”and grasp her in hugs, offering her thanks for showing them a way onwards, a way out of the shadows and into the light.


Sheila is survived by her daughter, Jennifer Guild Boyer, and her husband Joe, of Jacksonville, Florida; her son, William Michael Bailey of Durham, North Carolina; her niece, Maureen Peraria, and two great-nieces. Bill, Sheila’s husband, died in August, 2004, an absence she felt dearly.


A Memorial Service will be held at 2 p.m., Saturday, December 30, at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, Chattanooga. Internment will follow at a private ceremony, Colestown Cemetery, Cherry Hill, New Jersey.


In lieu of flowers, send memorial contributions to CADAS, 207 Spears Avenue, Chattanooga, TN 37405.


Please visit to share words of comfort to the family. Arrangements by Heritage Funeral Home, 7454 E. Brainerd Rd.

 Service Information

Funeral Service
December 30, 2017

2:00 PM
St. Paul's Episcopal Church
305 W. 7th Street
Chattanooga, TN

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