Sheila Antoinette Eberhardt, 57, of Tabernacle, a Philadelphia educator for 34 years who made friends worldwide with her ebullient personality, died of uterine cancer May 21 at Virtua Memorial Hospital in Mount Holly.
"There was nothing my mother couldn't do," said her daughter, Shelley. "She had me when she was 18, then graduated from college in three years while working full-time in a bank. She earned a master's degree, taught school, studied for a doctorate, and traveled all over the world. She was one determined lady."
Born and raised in West Philadelphia, the former Sheila Young graduated in 1968 from Philadelphia High School for Girls. At the time of her death, she was in charge of planning the 40-year reunion of her class.
"My mother was concierge to everybody," her daughter said. "My friends called our house and asked to talk to her for financial and personal advice."
After graduating cum laude with a bachelor's degree in education in 1973 from Cheyney University, she earned a master's degree in education from Temple University in 1974. She was a member of the Alpha Phi Sigma academic sorority.
The following year, she married Elliott J. Eberhardt. The marriage ended in divorce in 1993.
Mrs. Eberhardt began her teaching career in 1974. She taught special education at Simon Muhr School and was vice principal at Bok Vocational High and Pickett, Roosevelt and John Paul Jones Middle Schools. She retired this year from John Paul Jones as acting principal.
Mrs. Eberhardt organized scores of trips to dozens of countries for friends and family. She spoke French and Spanish fluently. Eventually, Mrs. Eberhardt opened a small travel agency.
"She made friends everywhere," her daughter said. "I was amazed when people in France or Brazil recognized her on the streets and called her by name. Her dazzling smile made her impossible to forget."
In addition to her daughter and former husband, Mrs. Eberhardt is survived by a son, Uriah Young; a stepson, Elliott "Champ" Jr.; her father, George R. Young, and his wife, Bessie LeFray Young; and two sisters. She was preceded in death by longtime companion James McCoy.
Friends may visit at 11 a.m. today at Holy Eucharist Church, 520 Medford Lakes Rd., Tabernacle. The funeral will follow at noon. Burial will be in Locustwood Memorial Park Cemetery, Cherry Hill.