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Sheila Kasselman

Sheila Kasselman, 82, of West Bloomfield, Michigan, died after sunset on 25 February 2023.

Sheila Sky Kasselman of West Bloomfield, Michigan passed peacefully from complications of pancreatic cancer after a valiant 16 year battle. She was celebrated by all those that knew her for her inspirational and tireless campaign to bring urgency to the fight against pancreatic cancer. She was a bona fide warrior, role model, mentor and all-around force, self-made in every way.

After her pancreatic cancer surgery in 2008, Sheila channeled her energy into Sky Foundation, a non-profit organization actively raising public awareness and supporting pancreatic cancer patients, their family, friends and caregivers. So far $2.5+ million has been raised, most of which has been awarded to experts for vetted cutting-edge research. Due in large part to Sheila’s advocacy, Sky Foundation funds seed grants at important institutions such as Henry Ford Health, Karmanos Cancer Institute, the University of Michigan, and Harvard. Sky Foundation works closely with the national organization PanCan and other organizations to enhance awareness. Sheila’s story has been covered in numerous publications and media as her extended survival and long-standing service was truly unique. She has received numerous awards and distinctions, and was featured in the film “Those on the Front Lines of Cancer” by Keith Famie premiering on PBS in October 2019.

Sheila was an adoring mother who had a notable career defined by her positive attitude and a desire to help her community. She previously volunteered with Common Ground, ultimately co-founding the fundraiser Art in the Park in Birmingham Michigan. She once co-owned an art gallery in Birmingham and Charlevoix, Michigan.

Her professional accomplishments included building an insurance and financial planning business. She advocated for women in business, co-founded the Birmingham Community Women’s Center, and helped numerous local women’s organizations. She was especially proud of her work focused on assisting women establish financial independence. She was a past Board member of the National Association of Women’s Business Owners and a member of the Women’s Economic Club.

A beloved daughter, sister, aunt, mother and grandmother, she grew up in Johnstown, Pennsylvania Her parents were Herman/Gertrude Sky. Her beloved step-mom was Naomi Holzman Sky. Sheila graduated from Penn State in 1962, and married Lewis Kasselman. She is survived by her three loving children, Heidi K. Sky, Geoffrey (Ellen) Kasselman, and Brad (Tomoko) Kasselman, as well as her four grandchildren Mitchell and Samantha Kasselman, and Jillian and Sophie Kaplan, her sister Saralee Sky (Jerry Kilgore).

A celebration of Sheila’s life and legacy is being planned for later in the year, please check www.skyfoundationinc.org or IraKaufman.com for information.

In pursuit of Sheila’s pancreatic cancer awareness mission, Sky Foundation's important work will continue. Contributions in Sheila’s memory can be made to Sky Foundation, Inc. at www.skyfoundationinc.org, or send a check to “Sky Foundation, Inc.” at 33 Bloomfield Hills Parkway, Suite 275, Bloomfield Hills, MI 48309”, or by calling (248) 385-5143.