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Sheila Mary Bryan Fuesting

Sheila Mary Bryan Fuesting, 85, born November 7, 1935, passed away in her home on St. Patrick’s Day March 17, 2021 surrounded by her loving family. She was born to Lela Christisen and Morgan Gano Bryan.

Visitation was Saturday, March 20, 2021 at Johnson Funeral Home in Effingham. Burial was be in Valle Spring Cemetery in Ste. Genevieve, MO.                                

Memorials may be made to Effingham Public Library and American Cancer Society. Online condolences may be shared at

Sheila was preceded in death by her parents; husband Norman William Fuesting; and brothers William Bryan and Michael Bryan. She is survived by her children Richard (Babette), Kathleen Kircher (Brian), Gregory (Marla), Kimberly Sawyer (David), David (Theresa), and Scott (Lisa); her grandchildren Ryan (Mary) Fuesting, Stephanie Fuesting, Andrew (Kaylee) Fuesting, Brian Jacob Kircher, Christopher (Carissa) Sawyer, Carly Sawyer, Claire Fuesting, and Louis Fuesting; great-grandchildren, Bradley, Emory, Lucy, and Benjamin; and brother Thomas Gano Bryan.

Sheila was born in Perryville, MO and lived in Ste. Genevieve MO and later in St. Louis MO. She graduated from Notre Dame High School for Girls in 1953. She then moved to Effingham IL to be a student teacher at St. Anthony Grade School. There she met Norman Fuesting. They married October 16, 1954 and had six children. She followed her heart and lived a long, rich, creative and loving life. She took great pride in raising her family. She was an entrepreneur with a sense of purpose and giving to others.

She was an enthusiastic reader and worked at the Helen Matthes Library in the late 1970s. She often lent books from her large collection to friends and family. She had a vast network of online friends who shared in her interests in quilting, reading and social justice. She carefully documented and compiled social and political history spanning the last two decades.

Sheila began quilting as a young mother with embroidered quilt blocks from her own mother. Her passion led to creating her first business Mountain Cabin Quilts, selling her work around the world. She opened Granny’s Attic, a quilt and sewing shop in Effingham, IL with dear friend Judy Dunnigan in the early 1980s. Sheila was a prolific and prize-winning quilter who created true family heirlooms.

Sheila instilled in her family the importance of connections through joyous celebration of holidays and milestones and the establishment of unique traditions – ask her grandchildren about the midnight rendezvous with the pope. 

Her love of family was a heritage, inspired by stories from her father, Morgan, led her to spend years researching and documenting all the family stories and history dating back to the 1400s in Ireland all the way through the family’s participation in the early settlement of the United States. May her memory be of the greatest blessing as she joins those ancestors whose stories she told so beautifully.

Sheila was a true heroine, living life to the very fullest and left a magnificent legacy of quilts, written history, family traditions and treasures.