Sheila JoAnn Hatfield (Wright), 74

Born Thursday, March 15, 1945

Died Sunday, September 29, 2019

Sheila JoAnn Marmor was born March 15, 1945 and was almost immediately adopted by the people who would for the rest of her life become her parents, Forrest and Anna Marmor of Decatur, Illinois.

A precocious and delightfully funny child, young Sheila convinced several neighbors that she was an alien, landed from a foreign planet to integrate with humans. Along with her older siblings Walter and Ruth, she grew up in a lower-middle-class neighborhood, the child of a World War I veteran and his devoted wife in the glory days following the end of World War II.

In early 1965, she conceived her first child, Troy Charas, and moved to Memphis, Tennessee, where she met and married the man who would raise Troy as his own, Jimmie Keys Wright. From the moment she laid eyes on her firstborn son, Sheila's life attained purpose, meaning: she was destined to be a mother, and to that end, she rearranged her life as much as she could to accommodate her children's needs.

A year later, her first daughter, Candis Ann (named after both grandmothers), was born. Immediately, Troy and Candis became inseparable, almost twins in practice, if not in age. The pair would go on to study dance, acrobatics and gymnastics together, becoming an award-winning team across the midwest and the nation.

In 1969, Sheila gave birth to her second son, Leif Mason, who, as her other children, inherited her love of reading, and specifically Stephen King novels. After his birth, the family moved from Memphis to Sikeston, Missouri, then to Pikeville, North Carolina and finally to Saint Louis, Missouri, where in 1980, Sheila gave birth to her fourth and final child, Tia Rhea, who became the punctuation on the story of her children.

In Saint Louis, Sheila's compassion for her family became apparent. As her father, Forrest, aged and became dependent on constant care, Sheila and the family took him in, caring for him day and night as he approached the twilight of his days suffering from the devastating effects of the chemical weapons used in World War I. Later, she took in her nephew, Russell, and finally her brother Walter, who were facing dire financial and personal situations.

In 1982, the family moved first to Norman, Oklahoma and then, six months later, to Muskogee, Oklahoma, where Walter moved with them, and eventually, so did her sister Ruth's daughter Karen. At every step, Sheila displayed her compassion for those in challenging circumstances by taking them in and helping them get back on their feet.

In 1989, after she divorced from Jimmie, Sheila met the man who would become the love of her life, Charles Hatfield, formerly of Tahlequah, Oklahoma and finally of Arlington and Ferris, Texas. In Charlie, she would find a soulmate, a business partner, a friend and a companion who could accommodate her eccentricities while embracing her penchant for helping relatives and friends get back on their feet.

The couple moved to Arlington and then Ferris, raising Tia along the way, while starting and expanding a local newspaper, the Ferris Press, which later became the Ellis County Press, which thrives to this day. Stringently Christian, while not affiliating with any specific church, Sheila and Charlie strove to share their faith at every opportunity, believing their calling was to demonstrate the love of a merciful God to a lost and dying world.

In 2008, Sheila suffered a series of massive strokes that paralyzed the left side of her body and forced her to learn to speak and walk from scratch. As with most challenges in her life, she attacked this new situation with gusto, rehabilitating first in a hospital, then in a nursing home (which she called the "silver slammer"), and finally at home with Charlie, who along with her beloved dog Elmer, attended any needs she could not tend to herself. As she recovered, Sheila slowly regained her ability to take over responsibilities at the newspapers she and Charlie owned, and did her best to cover, edit and publish stories that uncovered corruption, graft and wrongdoing at the local level in Red Oak, Ferris and the greater Ellis County area.

In late August of 2019, Sheila fell and broke her hip, requiring major surgery to replace the broken bone with a titanium replacement. Doctors overcorrected on antibiotic treatment, killing off helpful digestive tract bacteria, which led to her hospitalization in September. Later that month, doctors found her unresponsive after a massive stroke on the other side of her brain, which left her essentially paralyzed and functionally unable to mentally recover.

Sheila had long before informed her husband and her children of her unwillingness to be kept alive by artificial means. Per her wishes, she was removed from life support.

She leaves to mourn her passing her husband, Charles Hatfield of Ferris, Texas, sister Betty Hill, children Troy Wright, Candis Ryczkowski, Leif Wright and Tia Mogged. In addition, she leaves step-children Erik Hatfield and Stephanie (don't know her last name). She also leaves grand-children Sara Kessler, Jacob Ryczkowski, Leif Absalom Wright, Asa Wright and Avery Mogged.

In addition, she leaves nieces Jackie Doehling, Regina Cavenaugh, Darla Sanborn, Lisa Hynes, Monique Decker and Michelle Arnold. Sisters-in-law Shelley Watkins and Tina Richardson, as well as her sister-in-law, Ellen Marmor.

She was preceded in death by her parents, her brother Walter Marmor, Ruth Marmor and her late niece, Karen Marmor.