Obituaries 11-08-2010

Sheila Joan Herbert

Boston resident early and late in life

Sheila Herbert died on July 7, 2010, at the age of 81. A Boston resident both early and late in life, she spent the majority of her adult years living and working in New York City.

Ms. Herbert was born on June 29, 1929, in New Bedford, Mass.

As a girl, she lived on Beacon Hill’s Acorn Street and attended the Brimmer and May School at its original location on Brimmer Street (the current site of the Park Street School). She graduated from the Westover School in Middlebury, Conn., and later from Parson’s School of Design in New York.

A strong, independent and intelligent woman, Ms. Herbert forged a successful career in fashion advertising, sales and marketing that spanned over 35 years. She worked as an assistant fashion editor with Cosmopolitan and Vogue magazines in the early 1950s before moving to fashion and account executive positions with J. Walter Thompson and other Madison Avenue advertising agencies. In the mid-1980s, she was vice president of Beauty Bookings, an international talent agency for fashion models, makeup artists and hair stylists.

A devoted urbanite, Ms. Herbert was a longtime resident of The Dakota on New York City’s Upper West Side, where she served for many years as a board member of the building’s cooperative association and forged many lifelong friendships. After relocating to Boston, she was a happy denizen of the River House for 10 years.

Possessing a great memory and a love of books, popular culture and sports, Ms. Herbert had a gift for developing quick but lasting, connections with individuals of all ages, interests and backgrounds. She was an avid sailor on Buzzard’s Bay during the years when her family spent the summer in Padanaram, Mass.

Ms. Herbert will also be remembered by family and friends for her knowledge of and passion for jazz music. She enjoyed both the music and the musicians, many of whom came to be close personal friends, and traveled annually to jazz festivals around the country.

Her extensive collection of hats and other chic accessories provided a frequent reminder of her fashion background.

An elegant and caring woman who loved to laugh, Ms. Herbert was a wonderful entertainer, devoted sister and aunt. After coming full circle with her return to Boston, she especially enjoyed quiet lunches with family and friends, as well as avidly following professional tennis and the Red Sox. A devoted cat lover and owner throughout her life, her last feline was named Nomar, after the former Sox second baseman.

Ms. Herbert is survived by three nephews and their wives, John K. Herbert III and Elizabeth P. Herbert of Boston, James D. Herbert and Anke C. Herbert of Milton, and Timothy H. Herbert and Burkely W. Herbert of Houston, Texas, as well as four grandnephews and three grandnieces.

A memorial service will be held in St. Michael’s Episcopal Church, 112 Randolph Ave. in Milton, on Nov. 13, at 3 p.m. Interment will be private.

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