Sheila A. (Crocker) Newton

November 12, 1937 ~ June 3, 2022 (age 84)


Sheila Ann (Crocker) Newton passed from this life on June 3rd, 2022. She was born in Bangor, Maine, November 12, 1937, to Almon and Mabel (Tardif) Crocker. The family moved to Montague City when she was a young girl.
She attended St. Anne’s School and Turners Falls High School. She married her high school sweetheart, Robert Gifford Newton, in July of 1956, settled in Millers Falls, and started a family. 
Sheila worked for the Montague school system, a local dentist, and later, in the Town of Montague Assessors office.
A talented knitter and seamstress, she rarely needed a pattern, just some measurements and a vision of what the finished project would look like. She was an accomplished cook and baker, collecting recipes and obscure ingredients. Need something for a new recipe you’re trying? Go to Sheila’s pantry. She loved her gardens, both flowers and vegetables, always sharing her bounty, recipes, and what she had learned this growing season.
Her children, and later, grandchildren, were blessed with a mother, and “Meem”, of immense curiosity and knowledge about nature, wildlife, and birds. Her inquisitive nature extended to plants and fungi, butterflies and bats, anything furry, finned, or winged. Her library included countless reference books, including a field guide to bird droppings. Sheila spent a lifetime taking in and caring for dogs and cats needing a loving home. 
She had a fearless nature, and was game for any outdoor adventure, from caving with the 6th grade classes of her grandchildren, to hiking the wilderness of Yosemite, Senegal, and the Cape Verde islands.
She visited Alaska and the Caribbean, and toured Italy, actually waving to Queen Elizabeth as she drove past on her way to an audience with the Pope.
She loved the quiet beach life of Plymouth, MA, enjoying time spent there each summer with family and friends for almost thirty years. Many a beautiful sunset was enjoyed while sipping a cocktail, to the accompaniment of the resident song sparrow.
What brought her the greatest joy in life was being with her family. She adored her children and grandchildren. Nothing brought a broader smile to her face than seeing everyone enjoying themselves in the backyard, at one of her cookouts, splashing in the pool, or the ocean’s waves, or seated at her table, enjoying yet another spectacular meal she had prepared. Her holiday feasts, (enough for an army), are fondly remembered.
Sheila is predeceased by her husband of 65 years, Robert Newton, as well as her brother, Jon Kevin Crocker.
She leaves her daughter Martha Balazs and husband Stephen, of Northfield, sons Robert and wife Tina, also of Northfield, and Thomas and wife Sue Ironstone, of Worthington.
Grandchildren Noah Balazs and wife Rebecca, of Cairo, Egypt, Emma Balazs of Brunswick, Maine, and Max Newton of Northfield.
Great grandchildren Wilhemina and Laurel Balazs of Cairo, Egypt.
She also leaves her brother, Sheldon Crocker and partner Linda, of Englewood, Florida, and many nieces and nephews.
There will be no services in accordance with her wishes.
Heartfelt thanks to the staffs of New England Hospice and Buckley Healthcare Center, as well as the aides of Comprehensive Home Care, for their care and kindness.
Arrangements are under the direction of Kostanski Funeral Home. For condolences, please visit
Memorial contributions may be made to:
Franklin County Regional Dog Shelter
10 Sandy Lane
Turners Falls, Ma 01376


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