Sheila Flynn Blank, 83, died peacefully of cancer at her home in Stamford, Conn., surrounded by her family, on October 11, 2020.
Born in 1936 in Mount Vernon, N.Y. in 1936, she was the second of Eleanor and Edward Flynn’s six children. She attended The Ursuline School, The College of New Rochelle, and Columbia University School of Nursing.
In 1959, she married Arthur Blank in Pelham, N.Y. They settled first in New Rochelle before moving to Rye a few years later to raise a family.
After taking time off to rear her children, Mrs. Blank served as a Westchester County Public Health nurse in Epidemiology for the rest of her nursing career.
In 1998, Mr. and Mrs. Blank moved to Stamford.
Sheila Blank was a devoted Roman Catholic, faithful parishioner, and Eucharistic Minister, first at Church of the Resurrection in Rye, then at St. Bridget of Ireland Church in Stamford.
She lived her life in faith as a servant of Jesus, guided by her favorite prayer, the Prayer of Saint Francis: “Lord, make me an instrument of your peace: where there is hatred, let me sow love; where there is injury, pardon; where there is doubt, faith; where there is despair, hope; where there is darkness, light; where there is sadness, joy.”
She was the one quietly and regularly caring for friends and relatives who were ill, teaching religious education class to youth, visiting people who didn’t get many visitors, delivering the Eucharist to those who couldn’t attend mass, stepping up to help others whenever she could in ways small and large. She radiated God’s grace and bettered the lives of too many to count.
Sunday dinners at the Blank home with children and grandchildren were a cherished weekly tradition from the birth of her first grandchild in 1992 until March of this year. Mrs. Blank treasured annual family vacations in Maine with best friends when her children were young; weeks in Seaside Park, N.J. every summer for nearly three decades with their children, grandchildren, and extended relatives; Flynn and Blank family reunions; trips with her girlfriends, the Ya-Ya’s; and, in recent years, time spent in Florida with siblings and friends.
After she retired, her interest in genealogy became a passion. She researched and documented every morsel of information she could find on extended family. On day trips to New York City, she enjoyed discovering archived documents to add to her files. She and her husband traveled abroad many times, including to Ireland, Germany, and Italy to witness places where ancestors had lived.
But nothing gave her more joy than being with her grandchildren, who felt blessed to spend time with “G’mom” every week and be taken on wonderful adventures now and again.
Sheila Blank is survived by her husband of 61 years, Arthur Blank; her three children, Paul Blank (Vicky) of Somers, N.Y.; Lynn Edwards (Ryland) of Sandy Hook, Conn.; and Anne Jacobs (Sean) of Norwalk, Conn.; her grandchildren: Luke Holden, Zachary Holden, Rory Edwards, Samuel Edwards, Colin Edwards, Marjorie (Maggie) Jacobs, and Charlotte Jacobs; and her siblings, James Flynn, Eleanor Daly, Aileen Randag, and Patricia Miller. She was predeceased by her brother, Edward Flynn.
A private memorial mass will be held and livestreamed on Saturday, October 17 at 11:30 a.m. at St. Bridget of Ireland Church in Stamford. Virtual attendance on October 17 may be accessed by visiting stbridgetofireland.com, and after that date on Sheila Blank’s page at gallagherfuneralhome.com. The mass will be followed by a private interment at Gate of Heaven Cemetery in Hawthorne.
Donations in Sheila Blank’s memory may be made to Sisters of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, Camilla Hall, 100 Maxis Drive, Malvern, PA 19344. To send on-line condolences to the family, visit www.gallagherfuneralhome.com.