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3000 E. Third Street
Bloomington, IN 47401
Phone: 812-333-4400
Fax: 812-333-4445
Sheila Burrello

Sheila O'Donnell Burrello

Saturday, February 14th, 1942 - Tuesday, January 5th, 2021
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Sheila O’Donnell Burrello, 78, beloved mother, grandmother and friend to many, passed away January 5, 2021 in Bloomington, Indiana.
Born February 14, 1942 in Fall River, Massachusetts, Sheila was the only child of Thomas O’Donnell and Margaret Morgan. Margaret died of tuberculosis six weeks later. Sheila was raised by her father, grandmother, and doted on by her aunt Helen and uncle Doc. When she was thirteen her father married Mary Murray. Sheila graduated from Sacred Heart High School and then attended Emanuel College in Boston. She met her husband, Leonard Burrello, while receiving her Masters in Education at Temple University in Philadelphia. Her husband’s teaching career took the young couple to White Planes, NY, Ann Arbor, MI and finally to Bloomington, Indiana. Each summer she returned to her east coastal roots, spending summers in her beloved Westport Harbor, where she had spent summers at the family’s cottage as a girl. She was happiest feeding a household of friends. Her summer porch became club house of sorts. She was said to collect people.
At first a reluctant Hoosier, Sheila came to embraced by her local community. In Bloomington, Sheila raised her two children and became a valuable fundraiser and booster for civic and community projects. She volunteered for leadership positions with the Youth Hockey Association, the University Women’s Club, public school committees, and the Ladies’ Auxiliary supporting the Bloomington Boy’s and Girl’s club. She also served for a time as president of her family’s company, Elephant Rock Productions. Her greatest accomplishment was spearheading the fundraising of Jill’s House, a home for families receiving medical treatment at Indiana University. When local business owners saw Sheila approach they took out their checkbooks and simply said, “How much do you need, Sheila.” She was selfless in her pursuit of the needs of those less fortunate. She loved everybody. Sheila battled illness for many years but kept active. In her later years she served as a “friend of music” at the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music. Quite an achievement for a woman who had trouble tuning a car radio.
She leaves behind two children, Jotham Murray Burrello (Ashford, Connecticut) and his wife Kristin, and Elizabeth Sheehan Opie (Chicago, Illinois), and her husband Brett Opie, as well as five grandchildren, Lindsay Opie, Jake Opie, Atticus Burrello, Miles Burrello, and Jotham Burrello. She will be buried beside her father Thomas and step-mother Mary in St. Patrick’s Cemetery in Fall River, Mass. Due to Covid-19 restrictions the family will hold a private funeral, and arrange for celebrations to celebrate Sheila’s life at a later date.
The Funeral Chapel of Powell and Deckard in Bloomington is handling local arrangements.
In lieu of flowers, please contribute expressions of sympathy to a memorial fund the family is establishing at the Boys & Girls Clubs of Bloomington. Mailing address: P.O. Box 1716, Bloomington, IN 47402 or List Sheila Burrello in the comment box for online contributions.
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David Greenburg

Posted at 05:02pm
Sheila was a very good friend and personal support when I was a graduate student and after in Bloomington. She handled many details and provided shortcuts in a system not always familiar. Best of all she shared many great times and travel experiences and a great many laughs and good times along the way. She was a wonderful friend to have and Bloomington will be remembered differently without her.
David Greenburg

Thomas Frew

Posted at 02:17pm
So sad to hear about Sheila. My name is Tom Frew and I was part of the original group in Phila. We were all young starting our careers. We were all from different parts of the country and Sheila brought her ideas and fun from Fall River. A small group of us shared so many good times and she was always ready to join in a party. We didn’t see each other much over the years but Len and I kept in touch especially after we moved to Cleveland. Please accept my sympathy and I’ll always have our youthful memories. Peace and good health to all of you.


laurie fernandes

Posted at 03:43pm
Elizabeth & Jotham,
I am so very sorry to learn of your mom's passing. I wish we had spent more time together when she was in Westport. Your mom was a very good cousin to my Aunt Joyce, and for that I will always be grateful. I know her passing leaves a hole in your heart, as I know you both ALWAYS had hers! I used to love hearing stories about the 3 O'Donnell girls, they are together again! Hugs cousin Laurie

Alessandra Ferrerio Posted at 07:35pm

My Husband Joseph and I met Sheila at the YMCA. We hit it off immediately talking about Massachusetts (I’m a native) - going down the cape, the beach our love of entertaining and music. She loved having a tan. She was witty, intelligent and always had a story to tell me. We became friends immediately. She always had good things to say about her friends. She loved to do kind things for people. Her family was the center of her life and she talked about them a lot. She was very proud of all the accomplishments of her children and grandchildren. I loved knowing her and wished we had more time. We’d prepare for parties and dinners and have a couple laughs. She treated me like family. II’ll miss her dearly. 💕

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