MOST OF THE rooms in Sheila Antoinette Eberhardt's house were devoted to places she had visited. An inveterate traveler, she brought home artifacts of all kinds to decorate her home.
For instance, one room had a Bourbon Street theme, like in New Orleans, one of her favorite cities, complete with Mardi Gras, jazz and the rest of the characteristics of that romantic town.
Sheila was a longtime teacher and principal in the Philadelphia public-school system, but she found time to visit most of the world's continents - many more than once.
"She was always on the go," said her daughter, Shelley Eberhardt. "She had amazing energy."
Sheila Eberhardt, who specialized in teaching special education and later moved on to positions as vice principal and acting principal of city schools, died of cancer May 21. She was 57 and lived in Tabernacle, N.J.
She was born in Philadelphia to George R. Young and the late Phyllis E. Young. She graduated from Philadelphia High School for Girls and went on to Cheyney State University.
She graduated cum laude from Cheyney after only three years. She later received a master of education degree from Temple University, and was working on her Ph.D. at Trenton State University.
Sheila began her 34-year career as a special-education teacher at the former Simon Muhr School in 1974.
She then went on to a career as a vice principal of several schools, including Bok Vocational, Pickett, Roosevelt and John Paul Jones Middle School. She also served as acting principal of John Paul Jones.
Despite her busy professional life, Sheila found time to bop around the world. She made friends wherever she went, especially since she spoke French like a native of Paris, as well as Spanish and enough Portuguese to get by in Brazil.
"She spoke French as fluently as she spoke English," her daughter said. "Whenever she had dealings with people in France, her grasp of the language just blew them away.
"The thought of traveling to any exotic and culture-filled place made Sheila's smile even bigger and more beautiful," said her daughter.
Her last excursion was to Asia, and she had planned to visit Africa next.
Her favorite city was Singapore.
"It was the most modern," her daughter said. "And very clean."
Wherever she went, Sheila made friends. The result was that when she returned to a certain place, people remembered her.
With her ebullient personality, she was not easy to forget.
For a time, Sheila ran an informal travel agency, gathering friends for trips that she organized and ran.
"She was a very accomplished woman," her daughter said. "She was the kind of person who did whatever she said she was going to do.
"She was a magnet for people. People just flocked to her."
Sheila married Elliott J. Eberhardt in 1975. The marriage ended in divorce in 1993.
Besides her father and daughter, she is survived by a son, Uriah Young; a stepson, Elliott Eberhardt Jr.; her stepmother, Bessie Lefray Young; two sisters, Sharon Young and Sheryl Chong; and her longtime companion, James McCoy.
Services: Noon tomorrow at Holy Eucharist Church, 520 Medford Lakes Road, Tabernacle, N.J. Friends may call at 11 a.m. Burial will be in Locust Wood Memorial Park, Cherry Hill. *