Archive 2008 - 2019

Sheila Joslin, 2010 Woman of the Year

by Ann Talbot


Sheila Joslin has been chosen to be honored at Celebrate Holliston because she is the poster person for volunteerism. I prefer to think of her as a person who is quick to help anyone who needs help. This began in her native Revere, just north of Boston, when a playground was built behind her house. She jumped the fence and began to interact with kids with disabilities. Sheila was thirteen years old. For seven years she worked with the children in Revere. She still sees her neighborhood girlfriends.
After high school graduation she began working as a secretary in an insurance company, later as a telephone operator at Beth Israel hospital. As a young wife and mother she lived in Melrose and North Reading, continuing to work with disabled children in a school setting. In the seventies she began volunteering for Easter Seals. She was hired to be their swim and recreational instructor at a camp in Pine Banks Park. She continued working with children at Coolidge School in Natick and eventually moved to Holliston in 1979. Sheila worked at Kennedy-Donovan Center and at Holliston High.
Her willingness to volunteer has benefitted the First Congregational Church in many ways. She has served as a Sunday school teacher at several levels, and served a term as a Deacon of the church. On Wednesdays she is at the Clothes Closet, an organization begun by Jean Fishlock thirty years ago. Good clothes at a reasonable price are sold here, a service to the community especially in these economic times. It is a place that senior citizens and kids with disabilities can use their skills for a good cause. Ruth Vernon, Holliston’s oldest resident and keeper of the Boston Post cane, works there every week. Sheila is also an annual participant in the Women’s Winter Retreat.
Sheila became interested in the Senior Center and served as its assistant director in 2001. In this capacity she ran all the events for our senior population under the directorship of Chuck Lutton. She also served as vice president of the Senior Support Foundation and has continued as one of the backbones of the annual Fall Yard Sale, the center’s main fund raising event.
At one time, after working with a program in Framingham, Sheila was asked to start a recreational program for children with disabilities in Holliston. She had only three kids in the program which pointed out the benefits of a larger regional program, so the Holliston group was incorporated into Framingham.
For four days each week Sheila works at the Life Experience School in Sherborn. She also volunteers on their Human Rights Committee. She makes sure that individuals know what their rights are and sees that they are implemented. She loves her present schedule balancing all her interests with her family life.
What does a perpetual-motion person do in her spare time. She exercises daily, either at the gym or at a quick pace walking on Holliston’s streets. She does take time to read and be involved with her family of four children, five grandchildren and husband Kirk. The holiday festivities usually center around her home. I can testify to the fact that Sheila Joslin is a great neighbor and friend. She makes a fantastic kugel and does a spectacular impression of Cher. The honor of Woman of the Year is well-deserved.

Comments (4)

As an advocate for the disabled, Sheila is a tigress. I am always impressed with her willingness to step up and help those in need, and often as not she's doing this for people that she'll never even meet face to face. Sheila's a volunteer rock star!

Joanne Fitzgerald | 2010-09-29 11:57:31

Without a question, Sheila is everywhere for everyone--not just Holliston. We are privileged to have an opportunity to recognize publicly her all-inclusive sense of otherness.

Paula Trask | 2010-09-26 18:16:31

Wonderful article, for a wonderful woman, neighbor and friend.. Sheila is indeed the poster person for giving and caring. We are very lucky to have her in our lives!!! Congratulations Sheila no one deserves this honor more than you..

Sue Lewis | 2010-09-24 21:16:19

Great choice! Congratulations, Sheila!!!

Maggie Raftus | 2010-09-24 13:21:51