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Death in our diocesan family: Virginia Rose Sheridan

Votive candles

With sadness we share the news of the death of Virginia Rose Sheridan, 79, on September 10, 2023 at her home in East Setauket, NY, after a long illness. She was the mother of the Rev. Sharon Sheridan Hausman, Priest-in-Residence at St. John's, Boonton. Sharon shares this obituary, which she wrote:

Virginia was born to Julia and Niel Johnson of Wilkinsburg, PA, on October 29, 1943. She graduated from Wilkinsburg High School, where she won numerous awards playing viola in the school orchestra and clarinet in the marching band. She often reminisced about the challenges of marching up and down Pittsburgh’s steep hills and recalled once marching right out of her shoes on a muddy day.

Virginia attended West Virginia University on a full music scholarship and graduated with a bachelor’s degree in music education in 1965. At WVU, she met and married the love of her life, Philip John Sheridan Jr. of Massapequa, NY. Their daughter, Sharon Joyce, was born in 1964 at the university hospital.

After Philip completed his master’s degree and began his teaching career at Patchogue-Medford High School, the family moved to Long Island. They lived briefly in Massapequa, then in Farmingville. Their son, Philip Geoffrey, was born in 1967. In 1973, they moved to East Setauket.

Virginia was a loving wife and mother and an active volunteer. She served as a class mother and parent chaperone in the schools, as a Cub Scout den mother and Girl Scout leader, and as a church school teacher. At Caroline Episcopal Church in Setauket, she was a long-time member of the altar guild and volunteered with her husband at the food booth at the annual church fair on the Green. She also volunteered at a local soup kitchen.

She was an avid cook and baker, providing thousands of cookies over the years to school classrooms, neighbors, friends and family. She took special pride in using recipes from her Swedish and Eastern European heritage. Christmas was not Christmas without nut bread, and Easter required horseradish beets and hrudka (a Slovak egg cheese).

She continued to pursue musical interests throughout her life. She played a hand-crafted viola in the orchestra at Stony Brook University. She later sang in the Sweet Adelines. She assisted the local band Nova as a volunteer. Most recently, she developed a passion for Country music and line dancing. She won awards for her dance choreography, including first-place honors for intermediate-advanced choreography in 2007 for “Long Island Love Thang.”

A lifelong learner, she studied everything from Spanish and Yiddish to financial planning and mahjong. She worked in a variety of jobs once her children were older, including as proofreader for what was then The Village Times and as a staff member for former Suffolk County Legislator Steven Englebright. She also was an enthusiastic kayaker.

Virginia was predeceased by her parents and her oldest brother, Niel Johnson. She is survived by her husband of 60 years; her daughter Sharon and husband, Paul Hausman, of Flanders, NJ; her son Philip and wife, Priscilla Sheridan, of Hillsborough, NC; grandsons Charles Sheridan and wife Madeline and daughter Bonnie of Raleigh, NC, Timothy Sheridan and wife Kaitlin and children Thomas, Macrina and Gloria of Harrison, MI, Carl Hausman of Flanders, and Samuel Sheridan of Hillsborough; brother William Johnson and wife Dawn of Pittsburgh; sister-in-law Bonnie Johnson of Johnstown, PA; and multiple nieces and nephews and their families.

A service celebrating her life will be held at 10:30 AM on Saturday, September 23, at Caroline Church. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital at Memorial Giving, 501 St. Jude Place, Memphis, TN 38105.

Lord, for your faithful people life is changed, not ended. When the body of our earthly dwelling lies in death, we gain an everlasting dwelling place in heaven. Lord, grant eternal rest, forever in the radiance of your light. Amen.