- 77 years old
- Date of birth: Aug 17, 1937
- Place of birth:
Montreal, Quebec, Canada
- Date of passing: Jun 6, 2015
- Place of passing:
Oakland, California, United States
|A Strong and Independent Entrepreneurial Spirit|
Sheila Maccallum had a wonderful, entrepreneurial spirit. She loved and appreciated the work of artists and writers, and she had boundless energy. Sheila easily fit into the Berkeley scene when she moved to California from Montreal, Canada in 1961. She was an early member of the Berkeley Co-op (she had a 5-digit member number, which put her in the ranks of early Co-op pioneers).
Sheila was a strong believer in women’s independence. In 1958, she founded a family business in Montreal, the Maccallum Domestic Agency, that was designed to protect vulnerable women workers. Also, in 1967, she conceptualized and founded Playthings, a toy store on Solano Avenue in Berkeley that specialized in handmade and wooden toys, Native American toys, handcrafted dolls, teddy bears, costumes and books. Playthings was unique in that it had no plastic or war toys.
Sheila raised two of her children, Jolie and Josh, in Berkeley, where she gave them the opportunity to see and live history in the making. In 1968, Sheila had key roles in the Eugene McCarthy presidential campaign in Berkeley, and then in the Stanley Sheinbaum congressional campaign in Santa Barbara. She volunteered with Suicide Prevention Services and Shanti. She attended Merritt College in Oakland. She had an incredible eye for the best garage sale “finds,” and her home was always filled with treasures.
Sheila loved beautiful words and lettering, and she was able to combine the two when she founded Pegasus Press, The Greeting Card Company Inc., in 1985. Pegasus was the love of her life, allowing her to combine art, artists, literature, greeting cards, business and people all under one roof! Following Pegasus, Sheila went to work for Papyrus in Berkeley - and eventually Oakland - where she specialized in personalized invitations. Her sensitivity and dedication to thoughtful and appropriate language was singular.
Sheila developed many close and long-term friendships. She believed in her children, grandchildren, and her friends - their endeavors, aspirations, and artistic expressions - and was there to support them whenever she was able. Her passion and love will be missed.
Sheila Joan Maccallum was born August 17, 1937 in Montreal, Quebec, Canada to Charlotte May McArthur Newman and Eric Charles Maccallum. Although Sheila lived in the U.S. for the majority of her life, she was always proudly Canadian. She is survived by her daughter, Jolie Pearl (Steven Butler) and granddaughter, Ariel Pearl-Butler of Oakland, CA; her son, Neil Schwartzman, of Montreal, Canada; her son, Joshua Lewis (Lisa Lewis), and grandson, Joseph Lewis, and granddaughter Charlotte Lewis of Redlands, CA; her brother, Ian MacCallum, and nieces Brenda and Andrea MacCallum, and great-nephews, Luke and Dylan MacCallum, of Toronto, Ontario, Canada, and her two ex-husbands, Ed Pearl, of Los Angeles, CA, and Robert Lewis, of San Francisco, CA.
A very special thanks to Karen McArdle, her friend of over 50 years, and Melinda Lozano-McBride, her long-time caregiver, both of whom provided comfort, care and love to Sheila in the last years of her life. Sheila died in Oakland, CA on June 6, 2015 with family and loved ones at her bedside. A private celebration of her life will be held in the near future. Donations in her memory may be made to a charity of your choice.
"Jolie, your mother was an amazing woman. You are one of her legacies. I am so sorry for your loss. My deepest condolences to you and your family."
"Dear Jolie, Ariel, Steve, and all of Sheila's family and friends. I wish I could have been with you for the memorial. I would have spoken about meeting her in 1957, as I was preparing to go to Israel for a year. Young and enthused, and a little frightened, I often spoke with her and found her a calming and supportive person. Although i did not see her again for many years, it is both comforting and interesting to read of her many activities and interests over her lifetime. Rest in peace my friend. Bernie"
Have a suggestion for us?