Sheila Stott Gourlay

Published 9:31 am Tuesday, August 23, 2022

Sheila Stott Gourlay, 77, passed away peacefully on Thursday, August 18, 2022, surrounded by her loved ones after bravely battling Alzheimer’s for 14 years.  A memorial service will be held at 11:00 a.m. on Saturday, August 27, 2022, at Calvary Episcopal Church in Cleveland, MS. Visitation will be held prior to the service beginning at 10:00 a.m.

Sheila was born on January 18, 1945, in Greenville, MS, to Robert James Stott and Barbara Paxton Stott.  She was lovingly adored by her parents and grandparents, Mr. and Mrs. Lawrence Liscomb Paxton and Mr. and Mrs. William James Stott. She grew up in the Delta most of her life and that’s where her roots are firmly planted.

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She graduated high school from the American School in London, England. She attended the University of Mississippi; The American University in Paris, France; and Marymount University in Arlington, Virginia.  She graduated with a B.F.A. degree in painting and graphic design from Delta State University, and received a M.F.A. degree in drawing and painting from the University of Memphis.

Shelia was a very accomplished and beloved artist.  She shared her love of art and inspired countless students as an adjunct instructor at many universities across the South.  Her beautiful artwork has been featured over the years in many solo, selected group, and judged exhibitions and galleries; and, are in the treasured possession of private and public collections located across the country.  She received many awards, honors, and accolades during her artistic career, and was most proud of being the recipient of the Mississippi Institute of Arts and Letters MAC/NEA Visual Arts Fellowship award.

She enjoyed and was fortunate enough to travel all over the world, and immersed herself into the cultures and experiences in every exquisite city that enriched her life and her art.

She was married to William Powell Gourlay of Rosedale and together they shared three children.  She fiercely loved and adored her children and grandchildren, and she delighted in sharing her talents and love of art with them.  Sheila held a deep love for all animals, but especially doting on Harpo, Suther, Saint, Moe, and Rocky. There was never a stray animal that she didn’t stop to pick up on the side of the road, and either keep or find a nurturing home. She loved to play the piano and was always looking for an opportunity to dance; she was a lovely hostess, devoted friend, and loved to entertain and enjoy life.

She was preceded in death by her father, grandparents, and youngest son, Robert Stott Gourlay.

Sheila is lovingly survived by her mother, Barbara Paxton Stott of Leland; son, William Powell Gourlay Jr. (Becky) of Rosedale; daughter, Elizabeth Gourlay Heiskell (Luke) of Oxford; granddaughters, Elizabeth Stott Heiskell, Mary Paxton Heiskell, and Lucia Lamar Heiskell of Oxford; sisters, Pamela Stott Kendall of Ft. Lauderdale, FL and Barbara Stott McCoy of New Orleans, LA.

The family wishes to extend special thanks to Deloris William Franklin for her many years of friendship and devotion to Sheila and her family.

Expressions of sympathy and memorial contributions in Sheila’s memory may be made to Delta Arts Alliance at or Memory Makers of Oxford at 662-234-3332.