Bluecoats are saddened to share the loss of one of their own today. Sheila Bear-Wallace was tragically killed by a gunman while walking her dog in a Cleveland neighborhood park on Thursday, January 17th. Sheila was an early member of the Bluecoats as a color guard performer from 1978-80. After aging out, Sheila remained with the corps as an instructor and was a principal part of the visual program, helping the corps achieve the 1981 Class A Championship at the U.S Open in Marion, Ohio, at the time one of the most prestigious drum corps events in the nation. She also helped the corps launch its first WGI Indoor Guard in 1982 (called the Bluecoat Pageantry Ensemble).
Sheila had recently become more involved in alumni activities with the organization. In 2018, Sheila took on the leadership of the annual Christmas In July celebration for the corps. Our cast members spend four months away from home as part of the drum corps experience each summer, and celebrating this family type holiday is special for them. Alumni recently have begun donating to provide "stocking stuffers" each member receives that morning. She also helped coordinate the delivery of Christmas gift packages from many alumni who have "adopted" members of the corps while on tour.
For the last two years, Sheila has also helped consult with the color guard of our alumni ensemble, Rhythm IN BLUE, reliving her days as instructor. She had just recently been elevated to the position of Program Coordinator for the SoundSport element of Rhythm IN BLUE for the 2019 season. We will deeply miss her exuberant laugh, encouraging words, smiling face and positive energy.
UPDATE: Calling hours for Sheila will be Friday, January 25th, from 4 pm to 7:30 pm, with the service immediately following at Corrigan-Craciun Funeral Home. It is located at 14768 Lorain Road in Cleveland. This is on the corner of 148th Street and Lorain Road. A GoFundMe campaign has been started to help the family defray the cost of this sudden and unexpected passing.