Sheila Diana Dean
was born on October 10, 1948 to William Dean and Charlotte Harvey in Chicago, Illinois Sheila Shears was ushered into the presence of her Heavenly Father on Wednesday, November 13, 2019, at Holy Cross Hospital. Sheila was preceded in death by her loving husband, Frank L. Shears III and her parents, and is survived by her daughter, Ebony Shears along with many aunts, uncles and cousins. Sheila had many close friends she considered family and family was extremely important to her.
Sheila was educated by the parochial and public school systems of Chicago and continued her education at Central State University in Wilberforce Ohio, where she received a B.S. in Accounting, and then at Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville, where Sheila received an MBA. At Central State Sheila was initiated into the Delta Kappa Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Incorporated and met the love of her life, Frank Shears, who she married in 1969. From that union, their beloved daughter Ebony was born. Sheila was a devoted mother known for her adventurous spirit. She was a lover of jazz and gospel music, collecting art, watching football and was an avid hand dancer.
Sheila was a highly-accomplished professional with a career of over 40 years. Sheila became a Certified Public Accountant and, upon moving to the Washington, DC area, joined the Chesapeake and Potomac Telephone Company of Maryland, breaking professional ground for African American women who followed her path. More than 20 years later she retired as Controller and Treasurer of the Verizon Communications Company of Washington, D.C. Sheila served as Interim Vice President for Business and Fiscal Affairs at Tuskegee University, and served in executive leadership roles at the United Planning Organization, Fort Lincoln Realty, Inc. and Blunt Enterprises. Possessing a generous spirit, Sheila was always present to support, encourage, motivate, coach and mentor young professionals.
Over the course of her career, she was instrumental in the operational and financial success of many organizations and sharpened her saw through her participation in the National Association of Black Accountants and in Leadership Washington and Montgomery County. Sheila also served as Treasurer of the Washington Area Better Business Bureau and was a member of its Executive Board, and was a 20-year Board member of the Anthony Bowen YMCA.
After her retirement from Verizon, Sheila’s enterprising and entrepreneurial spirit lead her to create Shears to You, which encompassed several of her business ventures. She became the first Black distributor of Carlisle Collection for the East Coast. Sheila was a financial, tax and management consultant to individuals and companies, and with Shears to You Travel she cherished designing spectacular travel experiences and sending people to far flung parts of the world.
Sheila was also dedicated to serving her community, especially through her beloved Delta Sigma Theta. Sheila has been a faithful member of the Washington, DC Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta and is a Golden Life Member. Over many years, Sheila was a committed servant who took on many local, regional and national leadership roles, including as a National Board Member. Sheila also gave back to her community over the years through her memberships in the Washington DC Chapter, Continental Societies, Inc. and the Junior League of Washington.
Sheila was faithful and dedicated member of The People’s Community Baptist Church, of Silver Spring. She served in the Trustee Ministry as both Chair and as a Trustee, participated with the Women’s Ministry and was on the Board of the Wellness Center.
With all that she did, with whomever she met, Sheila brought humor, wit, wisdom, dedication, compassion and love.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to the Frank L. Shears and Sheila Dean Shears Business Scholarship.
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