Official Obituary of

Sheila M. (Barrett) Diggins

April 22, 2023

Sheila Diggins Obituary

Sheila M. (Barrett) Diggins, 77, of Webster and formerly of Holden, died Saturday April 22, 2023 at the UMass Harrington Hospital in Webster. 

Sheila leaves her husband of 48 years, Paul F. Diggins; a daughter Kelly L. Deneault and her husband Richard of Webster, with whom she lived; two sons, Todd M. Diggins and his wife Cindy of Sanford, N.C., and Matthew P. Diggins and his wife Diane Casavant of Worcester; six grandchildren, Rachel and Emma Deneault, Samantha Rutledge and her husband Kyle, Holly Scott, Andrew Finneran and his wife, Mary and Anna Diggins; dear friends, Lee Wood, and Bob & Charlene Carroll; and many nieces and nephews.  She was predeceased by her sisters Barbara Chalifoux and Kay Anderson. 

Sheila was born in Worcester, daughter of Clifford and Alice (Hamrin) Barrett. She grew up in Worcester and lived many years in Holden before moving recently to Webster. 

Sheila was a graduate of the former Sacred Heart Academy in Worcester.  In her fifties, she enrolled at Anna Maria College in Paxton where she graduated Summa Cum Laude in May of 2009 earning a degree in early childhood care.

Sheila had a long career in different childcare settings in Worcester, including work as a director of programs for the City of Worcester.  She was a staunch advocate for improved public funding for childcare programs. She was always driven by her deep concern for the current and future welfare of young children. 

Sheila never met a slot machine she didn't like. She was a voracious reader and was a Boston sports fanatic, never missing a Red Sox or Bruins game. She also enjoyed music, especially the songs of Elvis Presley. To say she treasured time spent with family and friends would be an understatement. Sheila was everyone's "go-to" for advice and words of wisdom, her opinions always being made known. To know her was to love her and that love will forever live on.  

There are calling hours on Saturday, April 29, from 9 to 11 a.m. at the Athy Memorial Home, 111 Lancaster St., Worcester, with a prayer service in the funeral home at 11 a.m.

Special thanks to the Worcester VNA who took excellent care of her in her final months. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Worcester VNA Hospice in care of VNA Care Development Office, 199 Rosewood Drive, Suite 180, Danvers, MA 01923. 

She will be deeply missed by all who had the pleasure of knowing her. From her Pear, "I'll be seeing you, my Peaches."

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Calling Hours
April 29, 2023

9:00 AM to 11:00 AM
Athy Memorial Home
111 Lancaster Street
Worcester, MA 01609

Prayer Service
April 29, 2023

11:00 AM
Athy Memorial Home
111 Lancaster Street
Worcester, MA 01609


VNA Hospice in care of VNA Care Development Office
199 Rosewood Drive, Suite 180, Danvers MA 01923


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