Saratoga Springs, NY - Sheila Mae Arpei (LaPoint), 71, passed away peacefully on Monday, August 19, 2019 at her home in Saratoga Springs, NY after a battle with adrenal cancer.
Born in Ballston Spa, NY on July 23, 1948, she was the beloved daughter of the late, Helen (Beninati) and Raymond LaPoint.
Sheila met the love of her life, John Peter Arpei in 1967 and the two spent 52 wonderful years together.
Sheila devoted her time and energy to family, community, and others; always putting everyone else first. Sheila graduated from Ballston Spa High School in the class of 1966. She earned her Associates degree in Liberal Arts in 1969 from Fulton Community College, and attended SUNY Plattsburgh, leaving in her senior year to be with John. Sheila pursued her teaching certificate and completing her bachelor’s degree while raising her 3 daughters and working full-time. She attained that lifelong goal, when she graduated from Excelsior College (formerly Regents College) in Albany, NY, in 2014 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in History and Psychology, at the age of 65. Sheila was employed with the Saratoga Springs School District for a total of 33 years and spent 19 of those years as an in-school suspension teacher’s aide, and 14 years as a substitute teacher. She loved her students, teachers, administrators and made lifelong friendships. Sheila worked as an Employee Breakfast Supervisor at the Saratoga Race Course; an Associate at BonTon in Wilton, NY; a YMCA Pre-School Teacher, and a File Clerk for the New York State Department of Labor in Albany, NY.
Sheila was a lifetime member of Saint Mary’s Catholic Church in Ballston Spa, where she played the organ, sang in the choir, and taught religious education classes for many years. Sheila also had a love for music and taught piano lessons and enjoyed playing the guitar and banjo. She was a longtime Republican Committeewoman of the Saratoga Springs District #13, and an Election Inspector. She was a member of the Catholic Daughters of America, Court McLaughlin, and volunteered for numerous charity events. She was a member of the Saratoga-Wilton Elks Lodge #161 and served on the Bingo, Drug Awareness, Parade and several other committees.
Sheila is survived by her brother, Raymond (Melita) LaPoint Jr. of Sacramento, CA, and her three daughters (whom she called her “diamonds”): Kim Irene (Michael) Siciliano of Kennett Square, PA; Laura Jo Kline (Charles) of Harleysville, PA; Dr. Crystal Lynn Arpei-McHugh (Dr. Robert McHugh), of Wilton, NY; and grandchildren Alexander Kline (17), Elizabeth Kline (14), Daniel Siciliano (12), Ryan McHugh (9), John McHugh (7), and Hailey McHugh (5).
Sheila was predeceased by her sister, Elaine McElroy.
Family and friends may call from 4 pm to 7 pm on Thursday, August 22, 2019 at Compassionate Funeral Care, 402 Maple Ave. (Rte 9 and/or Marion Ave.), Saratoga Springs, NY. There will be a Catholic Daughters Memorial Service at 4 pm, followed by a Saratoga Wilton Elks memorial service.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be at 9:30 am on Friday, August 23, 2019 at St. Mary’s Roman Catholic Church, 167 Milton Ave. in Ballston Spa., NY. Interment will be held immediately following service at St. Mary’s Cemetery, 170 Church Ave. in Ballston Spa., NY.
The family would like to thank all of the doctors and nurses who showed their love and care for Sheila during her battle with cancer.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to the Saratoga Springs Maple Avenue Middle School and St. Mary’s Catholic Church and School of Ballston Spa, NY, where she enjoyed teaching.
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