Robert M. La Follette School of Public Affairs
Friday, June 21, 2013

Family, friends honor memory of alum Sheila Chaffee


Sheila Chaffee

Memorial services were held June 14 for 1987 alum Sheila Chaffee, who died in Madison at age 76.

Chaffee served on the Madison Common Council, and she worked as a health-care finance policy analyst for the state of Wisconsin, an assistant to state Representative Midge Miller and a lobbyist for the Wisconsin Council on Children and Families.

Her numerous career achievements also included being a women's dorm counselor, Girl's State representative, homecoming queen, musician, student council member and class president, kindergarten teacher, wife, mother, grandmother, lobbyist, anti-Vietnam war protestor, budget analyst, television host of "Access City Hall," volunteer and board member for many political candidates, political debate moderator, member of the Madison Urban Design Commission and Drug Commission, Girl Scout leader, grant writer, and member of the League of Women Voters and of the Meriter Community Resident Association.

Chaffee graduated with a bachelor's degree in elementary education from the University of Redlands, where she was president of the Alpha Xi Omicron sorority. At age 48 she earned her master's degree in public policy and administration from the La Follette Institute of Public Affairs at the University of Wisconsin–Madison.

She is survived by her three children and their partners, grandchildren, her sister-in-law, many cousins, and the sisters of her heart (known as the Ladies Lunch group), all their friends and relations, who were the family she built here in Wisconsin, and friends and people she mentored, from childhood to the community she built at Capital Lakes, her home for the last decade.

Chaffee believed in building community and family. She became a member of every group she could find to make the world better, or if she didn't find one, she made one.

The family wishes that donations be made in Sheila Chaffee's name to the Mann Educational Opportunity Fund, a scholarship and mentoring foundation, in honor of close friends Bernie and Kathy Mann.

Sheila Chaffee obituary, June 2013, Cress Funeral Home

Sheila Chaffee, RIP, May 30, 2013, the DailyPage.com