Isabelle Sheetz Lewis

November 24, 2013 

Isabelle Sheetz Lewis, of Chapel Hill, NC, died November 4, 2013, at 87. She was the third child of James Percy Sheetz and Goldie Pearl Edwards Sheetz and was raised with three brothers and two sisters in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia. She graduated from Bridgewater College in 1948, initially teaching elementary school in Appalachia for six years.

In 1951 she married a Bridgewater classmate , James William Lewis. In 1955 they moved to Chapel Hill, For 55 years, Isabelle lived in a bungalow cottage near downtown Chapel Hill. (Her husband Jimmy died in 1993).

Ms. Lewis was an early childhood educator and conducted one of the first private kindergartens in Chapel Hill, enriching the lives of many youngsters who still remember early social and learning experiences she provided. In 1975 Isabelle began working as a curriculum specialist at UNC’s Frank Porter Graham Child Development Institute. She co-authored several early childhood curricula, including one that is still widely used by early intervention and child care programs today.

Isabelle Lewis was a talented seamstress, enthusiastic gardener, maker of preserves, avid reader, and a passionate liberal. She was a founding member of the Community Church and was later very active in the Chapel Hill Quaker Friends Meeting community.

She is survived by daughters Melanie Lewis Boyd of Berkeley, CA and Jennifer Lewis of Chapel Hill, NC; son, Timothy Lewis and his wife Gillian of Nantucket, MA; grandchildren James and Olivia Lewis of Nantucket, and a great granddaughter Tsela Mae. One brother also survives her, Roy Lee Sheetz of Winchester VA.

Isabelle was loved by many close and personal friends with whom she shared richly and often. Her family would like to thank Homewatch Caregivers, Linda Barbara, and those who loyally visited her at Brookshire Nursing Center. In particular, Isabelle's daughter Jenny thanks Donna M. Bryant, for years of assistance that went above and beyond.

A memorial service will be held in Chapel Hill in early spring. To be included in service updates, please email (or call: 919-966-4523) and leave your phone and email.

In lieu of flowers, please give to:

National Museum of Women in the Arts:

Southern Poverty Law Center:

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