The Alpha-1 Community Mourns the loss of Alpha, Sheila Favazza

adult holding hand in the air in victory and wearing a medal around their neck

SOUTH HAMILTON – Sheila L. Favazza, 75, of Forest Street, died Saturday, April 15, 2023, in the Brigham and Women’s Hospital following a brief illness.

“Sheila was a force in the Alpha-1 community for over 20 years, she was a dear friend to all. She was a dedicated support group leader in Massachusetts and always an active volunteer at the Boston Alpha-1 Foundation fundraisers including Escape to the Cape and Celtic Connection. Sheila will be missed at our education days, national and international conferences, which she always attended. We will miss her greatly and send our condolences to her family and friends at this difficult time,” said Angela McBride, Senior Director of Community Engagement and Corporate Relations.

Born in Lynn on December 24, 1947, she was one of five children of the late Loring and Barbara (Dearborn) Guptill. Sheila was raised primarily in Lynn and graduated from Lynn Classical in 1967. Following her training at the Addison-Gilbert School of Nursing, she began her career there. She went on to graduate with an Associate’s degree in Nursing from North Shore Community College in 1988 and became an RN. She worked at Addison Gilbert Hospital in patient care for many years and finished her career at Beverly Hospital in an administrative nursing role. Sheila lived in Essex for many years, and raised her family there, later moving to South Hamilton.

For more than 20 years Sheila was deeply involved with the Alpha-1 Foundation, advocating for those affected by an inherited lung disease. She worked tirelessly as a support group leader for Massachusetts; she rode and then later volunteered in their annual Escape to the Cape bike fundraiser on Cape Cod; and organized an annual silent auction as part of their Celtic Connection fundraiser for over 10 years. She participated in many Alpha-1 national and international conferences. In 2018 Sheila was given the amazing gift of a double lung transplant, which allowed her to spend five more wonderful years with her family and friends.

She is survived by a daughter, Lori Favazza of S. Hamilton, a son, Joe Favazza of Peabody; a brother, John Guptill and his wife Janet of Bradford; a sister, Sandra Wagner and her husband Kenneth of Maine; a sister-in-Law, Diane Guptill of Florida and many beloved nieces and nephews including Sarah, Jessica, Chris, Sean, Kristen, and Scott. She was predeceased by her brothers Richard, of Florida, and Michael, of Maine. She was the daughter-in-law of the late Margaret Favazza, of Gloucester.

Her funeral service will be held 4 p.m. Saturday, April 22 in the Whittier-Porter Funeral Home, 6 High St., Ipswich, preceded by visiting hours from 2 to 4 p.m. All are respectfully welcomed. Memorial contributions in her name may be made to The Alpha-1 Foundation ( For directions or to leave a condolence please visit