Today, we remember with great admiration and gratitude, Reverend Charles J. Sheffield, who passed away March 13th in Florida. Reverend Sheffield was instrumental in the early years of the NFED and was one of three people who signed our articles of incorporation.
In 1981, when Mary Kaye Richter was forming the NFED, Pastor Sheffield was the pastor at her church, St. John United Church of Christ in Mascoutah, Illinois. He saw the importance of the work she was doing for the ectodermal dysplasias community and believed in her vision for the NFED.
He served on the first NFED Board of Directors as treasurer. As Mary Kaye began to find other families and the Foundation was growing, Pastor offered her a storage room off of the balcony of the church for an office. The NFED moved in in 1982 and stayed until 1990. He charged no rent or utilities during the start-up years.
Pastor Sheffield’s wife, Joann, was a member of the Board of Directors of the Greater St. Louis Health Systems Agency at the time. When this agency disbanned, it donated everything we needed to start an office: desks, a 10-year supply of paper, chairs, paper clips, staplers, etc. Today, we still use some of the furniture that we received from the agency 30 years ago.
Pastor Sheffield was one of NFED’s very first supporters. We will be forever grateful for his support, his love and his generosity.