Remembering Sheila Piper Stubbs

Posted By on Tuesday, May 24, 2016 | 7 comments

Stubbs-Family-Atlanta - North Georgia- Lori Grice Photography - Home - On Location - Client's home- Clients house2In remembering the first time my cousin Dale introduced me to Sheila Piper,  almost thirty years ago, it seems like just yesterday.  She was beautiful, witty, smart and as charming as they come.  Dale was pretty taken by this amazingly special lady and we all could understand why.  She was born a few months before me and Dale convinced her to marry him a few months after Lori and I were married.  Their wedding was the first wedding we attended as a newly married couple and it was our first Catholic wedding.  We joked for years about how much exercise we received at their wedding.  I have never sat, kneeled and stood as many times at a wedding before or since.  Dale and Sheila were the perfect couple.  We always looked forward to seeing them every chance we could.  They made Atlanta home so the distance was a bit of a challenge.  I remember the day their first born child D.J. was born – November 26, 1994 to be exact.  There was no happier couple than Dale and Sheila.  Then, a few years later, they completed their family with the birth of their beautiful daughter Tracy on January 3, 2000.  Watching this family grow was incredibly special to us.  Pets - Dogs - Animals - Stubbs-Family-Atlanta - North Georgia- Lori Grice Photography - Home - On Location - Client's home- Clients house2They made trips to Statesboro so Lori could photograph their growing family and on occasion we would travel to Atlanta.  Sheila never met a cause too small or a friend too distant to find a way to help in her own special way.  She was always the brightest smile in the room and forever focused on everyone in her circle always putting her family and friends before her.  Then, last year, came the devastating news that Sheila had advanced cancer.  She prepared for a fight and how phenomenally she fought.  Last October we made one final trip to photograph Sheila, Dale, D.J. and Tracy at their home in Atlanta.  We assumed it would be the last time we had this opportunity but we prayed there would be many more.  Sheila wanted one last family portrait and a portrait of Tracy to match the one of D.J. on her wall. Stubbs-Family-Atlanta - North Georgia- Lori Grice Photography - Home - On Location - Client's home- Clients house It was yet another piece of “unfinished business” that she had to complete. PROOF - RED - STUBBS - 5x7 Flat V Front - Real red Lori designed a beautiful Christmas card that in typical Sheila style wanted to be more than an ordinary Christmas card but one that celebrated her family and thanked so many who had done so much to be beside her during this fight.  It was also a reminder of the unfinished business that she would have to leave to others.  A son in college and a daughter who is a rising Junior in High School.PROOF - STUBBS- 5x7 Flat V Back

Tomorrow, Sheila and Dale will enter the St. Jude the Apostle Catholic Church in Sandy Springs one last time as a couple.  It is the church where their love was sealed and new life was celebrated as one.  Sheila’s fight is over.  She is now in Heaven.  But her memory will live on in each of us who she touched so deeply.  They will gather to celebrate an incredible life well lived and honor her for the incredible wife, mother, daughter, sister and friend that she was.  Stubbs-Family-Atlanta - North Georgia- Lori Grice Photography - Home - On Location - Client's home- Clients house1Lori, Edie Grace and my life is so much richer thanks to Sheila.  She reminds us how amazingly short life is and the importance of celebrating every minute of every day that we are given.  She also reminds Lori the power of what she does daily in documenting the legacies of lives well lived.

Peace Out Sheila!Couple - Couples - Stubbs-Family-Atlanta - North Georgia- Lori Grice Photography - Home - On Location - Client's home- Clients house


  1. Sheila was my friend and mentor. I worked with her at The Cherokee Town Club for about 2 years.
    We remained friends for many years, We did crafting projects together and actually sold some to make money.
    When I had surgery in 2002, she came by everyday to check on me and made sure my refrigerator was full.
    She always gave with no conditions. Truly, she was one of the best individuals, that I ever known.
    I have great memories, and I will treasure them.
    My heart goes out to Dale, DJ, and Tracy….They were the true LOVES of her life!

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  2. To the Stubbs family my deepest condolences to you and my prayers are with you. May God strength and keep you during this time.

    God bless you,
    Laura Rojas

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  3. Dale, my dear friend…I am without words and heartbroken. My path crossed with Sheila only a couple of times. But her name was sprinkled so often in your conversations … whether about runways, kids, or working in your back yard … that I feel she was a as much a part of our work friendship as work was. I am so sorry to hear her fight is over. But I know she must have fought a good one because she loved you and the kids so much. I pray for God to give you peace you don’t understand. Love to you and your sweet family. Donna

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  4. Dear Dale,
    I was so very sorry to hear about Sheila’s struggle and passing. I remember her only in the first blush of falling in love with you. I’m so glad that you had each other and great love and happiness, and more importantly 2 beautiful children and a legacy of great fun and memories. My heart is with you all in these very sad days. God grant you peace and courage. Sheila’s strength and grace will be forever in all that were lucky enough to know her.
    Gentlest of hugs,

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  5. Dale, this is Kris, I dated Henry Rey a few years back. He messaged me about Shelia. I am truly sorry for both you and your children. I have such great memories of us all and hold them very dear. I am truly heart broken. Please know you are in my thoughts and prayers.

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  6. Dale, my heart pours tears for you and your family. I am so truly sorry.

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  7. I just found out about Sheila today. She worked in the front office at my sons school. I was a volunteer during his freshman and sophomore years. She trained me and taught me the ropes. She was so helpful and positive. We weren’t really off campus friends but we’d hug and talk for a few seconds every time we saw each other.
    During my sons junior year I stopped volunteering in the office but I would always wave to her every time I passed by and she would stand up and wave or I’d pop my head in the office and she’d gesture for me to come hug her. Our conversations were usually about 20 seconds every time I saw her but when I came into the office she would run up and give me a hug, we’d laugh and exchange pleasantries and she’d rush to get back to work

    One day I noticed Sheila wasn’t there and about two weeks later I popped in again she still wasn’t there. I asked a woman in the office (that I had never seen before) where Sheila was and she looked down and said she’s out and I thought OK, that was an odd interaction. A few weeks later she still wasn’t there, I asked again and I got the same dry response and I realize that something is probably wrong and people were just protecting her privacy.

    About two months later I was going to the attendance office and I saw Sheila sitting at the desk, she had on one of those hats that confirmed my fears. She saw me walking by and like she always did, she waved at me but this time she didn’t look like the same Sheila she wasn’t happy and even though I smiled my normal big smile and actually walked towards the door to go in and talk to her she sat back down at her desk and turned away as though she really didn’t want to talk about it. Out of respect I didn’t go in or bring up her absence for obvious reasons even though I wanted to. When I got to my car I was really sad because she didn’t look like Sheila and I really wanted to go back and hug her and tell her “I’m praying for you girl” and just encourage her but I felt like I was respecting what appeared to be her desire to not even address anything. But I decided the next time I saw her I didn’t care what she looked like I was going to go up to her and hug her and tell her that I was praying for her.

    For the next few weeks I looked for her every time I entered the school because I decided that I just wanted to hug her and let her know that she was special to me but I didn’t see her for the rest of the year. I went in today to pick up my son schedule for his senior year of high school and I popped in the office as I’ve done so many times and that’s when I find out that Sheila passed away just weeks ago. The chances of my face or name crossing she’ll is mind over these last few months as she undoubtedly diligently fought for her life is pretty slim but I wish I had a told her how many times she crossed my mind because of her care and exuberance and passion for things as simple as organizing the calendar. She was hilarious and perky and helpful and friendly and just nice. I marveled at how much joy she seem to get from doing her job and how much she really seemed to care about all the kids. You guys don’t know me from a hole in the wall but I just want you to know that your mom and wife was special to me because she was so sweet and funny and full of life that she left a mark on my heart. I have a candle that she gave me for Christmas 3 years ago and for some reason I never used it even though I always use candles but I never used that one. When she gave it to me I was so moved at her compassion. I’m going to light the candle tonight and I’m praying for you guys.
    I’m so sorry for your loss, Sheila was an amazing person and tonight I am sad.

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