Susan Gail Sheehan, a nurse and longtime resident of Woodside, was compassionate, caring, giving, an active member of the Peninsula equestrian community and a true friend, her friends and family said. Ms. Sheehan died at home in Woodside on July 19 after a long illness. She was 74.
Ms. Sheehan found her calling as a nurse, first in the U.S. Army in Northern Italy, where she achieved the rank of captain, then as a public health nurse in Hawaii. She continued nursing at the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs hospital in Palo Alto, and also worked in hospice, as a grief counselor, and in support of people afflicted with Alzheimer's disease.
"She just loved helping people," her friend Debbie Tucker said.
Ms. Sheehan moved to Woodside from Texas in 1976. She was a founding member of the San Mateo County Volunteer Horse Patrol, a group of Peninsula equestrians who patrol county parks, including Edgewood, Huddart and Wunderlich parks in Woodside, to "inform and assist" park visitors.
Among other local equestrian organizations, Ms. Sheehan was a member of the Happy Hoofers, the San Mateo County Horsemen's Association (where she was a past president), the San Francisco Horsemen's Association, the Los Viajeros Riding Club in Woodside and the Shack Riders.
Ms. Sheehan "did everything she could do to be of help to the horse community," and knew trails "like the back of her hand," Ms. Tucker said. "She was a trooper."
Ms. Sheehan also loved to snorkel and did so in Australia, Hawaii, Belize, Roatan (in Honduras) and Mexico.
Ms. Sheehan is survived by her sister Connie Grady, her extended family and her horse Boogie.