Shela Roberts Oakey of East Caln
Local Chester County Artist, Shela Roberts Oakey passed away at 84 on Nov. 23, 2016.
Shela was born in West Newton, MA on May 21, 1932 to Evelyn Brison and Dr. Fred Roberts Jr. She also had a younger brother, Fred Roberts.
She received a BFA from Massachusetts College of Art in drawing and painting.
Shela married John D. Oakey (Col. USMC) in 1954 and had twin daughters, Ingrid Guthrie and Diane Harkins in 1955 and son, Richard Oakey in 1962.
For 25+ years Shela worked in the commercial art field; costume and set design for stage and film productions in NY. She designed costumes and taught ballet for New Jersey Ballet Co. She earned an Emmy award as art director for a NY film company producing films for TV. Shela began painting full-time after moving to Chester Co. in 1979. Her focus on pastel earned a widespread following including The H. F. Lenfest collection, one of the largest devoted to regional art. She exhibited in invitational and juried shows including, Chester County Art Assoc, Yellow Springs, Immaculata, and Malvern Retreat. Her award-winning work is also included in the books “Speaking For Themselves, Artists of Southern Pennsylvania” by Daphne S. Landis and “100 Artists Of The Brandywine Valley” by Catherine Quillman.
She was an adoring mother, grandmother and great grandmother and is survived by brother Fred Roberts, her 3 children named above, and grandchildren, David Brett, Tyler Oakey, Stephenie Lindsay, Stephen Oakey, Andrew Scott, Grace Oakey, Sean Oakey, and 4 great grandchildren.
Memorial service is Saturday, Dec. 3rd at 1 p.m. at The Unitarian Congregation, 501 S. High St., West Chester, PA.
If you choose to donate in Shela’s name please consider Chester County Art Assoc, the SPCA of WC, or the Southern Poverty Law Center.