Sheila Scott (formerly Duncan)

SCOTT, Sheila Anne (formerly DUNCAN)

On Tuesday May 23, 2023, Sheila had a peaceful and dignified passing in her home, surrounded by birds, music and the love of her close family and friends.  She was in her 77th year of living life with joy and grace.

Beloved and proud mother of Julian Duncan (Jennifer) and Anne Duncan Rastogi (Ravi).  Cherished Nana of Kayla, Heather and Ethan Duncan and Simon and Maya Rastogi.  Beloved sister of Clive Scott (Elisabeth) and Keith Scott (Elizabeth) and loving aunt of Christopher Scott (Lorna), Clive Scott (Mo) and Ashley Gardiner (Luke).

Sheila was born in Falkirk, Scotland on September 6, 1946, and lived through the challenges of post-war life in Scotland as the eldest sibling.  She enjoyed a happy childhood and spoke fondly of many family holidays spent swimming in the North Sea and in the south of England.  Her parents encouraged her to be well-educated and career-oriented and introduced her to many different arts and cultures.   Sheila worked hard in school and enjoyed learning French and German during summer exchanges and work opportunities in France and Switzerland.

Sheila graduated with a diploma in Secretarial Science with a Distinction in Languages from Strathclyde University in Glasgow, Scotland in 1966.   She enjoyed an interesting posting with the British Foreign Office in London, England and loved living with the “Putney Girls” in their London flat. She was an adventurous person and in 1965 and 1966 she travelled to Toronto, Canada for summer working holidays.  At the University of Toronto summer residence, she met her future husband, Ron Duncan and after a short time Sheila set sail for Canada to start a new married life in London, Ontario in 1969. They shared 21 years as a couple Morris dancing, Scottish Country dancing and participating in many Home County Folk Festivals and Pinewoods Dance Camps while working, raising two children and putting their love of nature into canoe trips and their cottage on Stony Lake.  Sheila and Ron parted ways in 1990 but remained amicable and shared many family events together over the years.

Sheila spent most of her career working as a Program Coordinator in Continuing Studies at Western University.  She organized many dance and cultural programs as well as large conferences and events.  She had excellent attention to special details to make the experiences effective and memorable for all.

Sheila was always “The Dancing Queen”.  She loved dancing all throughout her life participating with many different groups in London (international folk dance, historic Playford dancing, Scottish and English country dancing and Morris dancing) and she loved introducing her grandchildren to square dancing at Juniper Island on Stony Lake.  She was a gifted dance teacher and a sought-out caller for years of community dances.  She transferred this passion to her children and grandchildren through music lessons and support of their live performances.  She was also a huge lover of live theater, particularly the Stratford Festival.

Sheila was always a dedicated volunteer for many local organizations and loved to swim, cycle, walk, garden and cross-country ski.  She remained active as her dance endeavors slowed down and she found great pleasure in meeting new friends with the Thames Valley Trail Association, Nature London and the Stratford Field Naturalists.  She was always up for exploring a new ski trail in winter or a new forest path in the spring.  Summers were spent swimming and canoeing at her beloved Stony Lake.  The grandkids will always remember “tea on the dock” and many campfires and sing-a-longs by the lake with Nana.  Adults will remember “G and T’s” on the dock and leisurely swims to the Point. 

Sheila was certainly a “lover of life” and always took great interest in others sharing long phone conversations with close friends near and far.  She never missed an occasion to get together with friends or family and loved a good party.  Sheila was also a cat lover through and through and always had one or two pussy cats roaming around her house and garden.

Part of Sheila’s leukemia treatment involved frequent life-saving blood transfusions and she was very grateful to the army of blood donors.  Please consider contacting Canadian Blood Services and donating the gift of life or supporting the vital work they do with a donation.

Sheila wished to be remembered as she was in her healthy vibrant state.  Cremation has taken place and a Celebration of Life will occur in early July 2023.  The family would like to thank the wonderful care of the outpatient and inpatient Oncology staff at the London Regional Cancer Centre. Arrangements entrusted with Cremation London & Middlesex Inc, 519-858-2467. Online condolences shared at

Sheila would like her family and friends to remember:

For each thorn, there’s a rosebud..

For each twilight – a dawn..

For each trial – the strength to carry on..

For each storm cloud – the sun..

For each parting – sweet memories when sorrow is done.

Ralph Waldo Emerson

  1. Sheila was the friendliest person you could ever meet. She was a warm and welcoming presence and seemed to know the whole of London!

    I appreciate the opportunity to get to know her, be friends with her wonderful daughter Anne and be hosted at the amazing Stony Lake cottage.

    You will be missed.

  2. There are so many lovely memories for all of our hikers who often walked with Sheila on the trails of HURON ,LAMBTON, and MIDDLESEX COUNTIES .
    We could always depend on Sheila’s ability to identify many plants and always she amused us with her observance and identifcation of all those unusual tree gargoyles whose unusual shapes needed a name .

    Sheila helped lift our spirits so often during the pandemic of 2019 -2023
    May all of you enjoy God’s blessings and comfort as we remember Sheila .

  3. Sheila was one of the first friends I made when I emigrated from Scotland. We met at The Cuckoos Nest when it was hosted at Luther House up at the University. That was 50 years ago. She was more a sister to me than simply a friend and I will miss her terribly. She had the biggest heart but make no bones about it you did not mess with her without getting the ultimate slap down, in the most dignified way possible of course. She was passionate about so many things in her life and I was fortunate to share that passion with her through music and dance. Rest in peace my dear you gave it the good fight. Now time to rest.

  4. We are devastated to lose Sheila, our hostess in London for
    countless years of Scottish Country Dances and workshops. We were also fortunate enough to visit her at the cottage on
    Stoney Lake a number of times. She will be greatly missed
    and we send our heartfelt condolences to Anne, Ravi, Julian
    and Jennifer as well as all her many friends. Joan and John
    Reeves – Peterborough, Ont.

  5. Julian, Anne and the rest of the extended family, this is a wonderful tribute to Sheila. My condolences on her passing away.

  6. I am sorry to hear of Sheila’s passing, my condolences to the Family also to the London Branch of the Scottish Country Dancing..

  7. Our world has lost a bright light. Sheila’s spirit and my memory of her spirit will be remembered and she will always be an inspiration for me. I had the good fortune to cross paths with Sheila daily when we both worked at Western’s Faculty of Continuing Education in complementary roles. Sheila saw her role as a public service to the community to offer all types of dance. She fulfilled her role with passion and dedication. Sheila exemplified someone who found her passion and lived it. I found in Sheila someone who could always find a way through, and find the time for people in her life and especially her beloved children. I am so sorry to hear she suffered with her illness and sorry too that I will be away on July 9th to pay my respects.

  8. Sheila and I worked together at Continuing Studies for many years. She was a remarkable person. She had such a kind, sunny, collegial spirit, and I will always remember her warmth, and sense of humour. My heartfelt condolences to her family.

  9. To Julian, Anne and to family & friends. I got to know Sheila in the early days of the Cuckoo’s Nest when it was in Luther House near the University gates. Through all the years of the Cuckoo’s Nest and Home County too, Sheila was a wonderful supporter of folk music & dance, and was a great friend. She will be missed greatly, but I am comforted that her pain is gone and she can now soar with the angels.

  10. I smiled when i saw Sheila’s photograph, almost forgetting why it was on my screen because her smile had that ability to bring comfort and restore confidence. Sheila helped us initiate a series of conferences on aging that proved quite successful. Her experience helped us avoid many pitfalls but if one appeared, her humour helped lessen the impact. A wonderful colleague and gift to all

  11. My Mom and Dad met Sheila through the London Forest City Morris Dancers. My parents were friends of Her and Ron . I baby sat Julian an Ann when they were little. Even spend a few summers at the cottage with both our families. Shelia a fun loving quick wit about her . And I just adored her laughter . My sincere condolences to her family and those who are close to her . I raise my wine glass to you and when I see a beautiful sunset I will think of you.

  12. Sheila, you will forever hold a special place in my heart.

    Your open arms, grounded grace and welcoming spirit made every dance a beautiful experience.

    As we mourn your passing, we also celebrate the incredible moments we shared and the dances we enjoyed together.

    Rest in peace dear Sheila and may your soul continue to dance among the stars.

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