Obituary: Ann Helen Sherman, 81
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On June 2, Ann Helen Sherman of Edgartown, MA, left this world as she has lived – with the grace of a queen, the soul of a lamb and the heart of a lion. She was surrounded by the love of her three daughters – her son Richard was waiting on the other side with his Volkswagen Bug to carry her into the next life. With her favorite music up and down, Ann came home with the salty ocean wind in her hair, a hot sun, and the love of God shining all around her.
Ann was born on February 10, 1940 in Providence, just before her favorite holiday, Valentine’s Day. She was the daughter of Ruth (Pelley) Mellor and Harold Mellor, and grew up in East Greenwich, with her younger brothers, Ted and Mark. From a young age, Ann learned the value of public service. Her mother, a registered nurse and school nurse, and her father, a police officer, taught Ann that strong communities are built with a strong heart and a willingness to go the extra mile to help others. Ann excelled in school – an honorary student, saluting her high school class, a member of the girls’ basketball team, soccer cheerleader team, pointe ballerina and elected “Sweetheart Queen” at the Sweetheart Dance at Wesleyan University. At the time, Ann would describe it as “the real happy days,” with socks, Elvis records, and sharing a milkshake at the local ice cream fountain.
Ann surprised everyone by turning down a full scholarship to Brown University to follow in her mother’s footsteps, accepting a full three-year scholarship to a nursing school during a severe nursing shortage. Like Ruth, she graduated as a registered nurse from Rogers Williams University, graduated at the top of her class, and completed her training at Boston Children’s Hospital and the newly expanded pediatric wing of the Mass General in Boston. .
In 1962, she married Richard A. Sherman and together they had four children – Richard, Bethany, Gay and Robin. For several years in the late ’60s, they also welcomed a child named Raymond, a boy they loved as one of their own. Ann and her husband continued to help children through child protection services, bringing over 100 girls and boys home for fun days on the beach and a ‘family life’ experience under the umbrella. loving care of Ann.
Arriving in Deep River, CT at the dawn of the bicentennial, Ann and her husband prepared their 18th century colonial home for the 1976 celebration. Ann was the guide to her home and responsible for the volunteers for the historic home tour. of the three cities. For 20 years she worked tirelessly at the Deep River Congregational Church, involved in Christian education, Ye Olde Christmas Faire, Deacons, Board of Christian Service and the women’s group, the “Flock”.
Ann worked as a paramedic for the Deep River Ambulance, once delivering a baby in a car on Route 9. On another race, a man in a serious car accident told Ann that he was afraid of dying. She told him, “not on my watch,” and indeed he survived, never forgetting her heartwarming words.
She has served on Boards of Directors and / or volunteered for many other TC organizations including the Deep River Library, American Red Cross, Tri-Town Youth Services, Lower Valley Visiting Nurses, Meals on Wheels and MADD. In memory of her son Richard, she sponsored a VRHS Graduate Scholarship for over 10 years. Still the renaissance woman, Ann ran her own boutique of women’s accessories for two years, then worked as a sales representative for the Main Street News.
One of Ann’s superpowers made everything beautiful. Whether she is planting in her garden, making flower arrangements for a religious event, decorating for the holidays or a party, wrapping a carefully chosen gift, her innate sense of beauty and style has brought joy and wonder to all who have encountered his gifts. . Always elegant and poised, she had a great taste for fashion and never left the house without her signature pink lipstick and jewelry, her hair perfectly groomed. A neighbor who had known her since she was a young boy recently remarked, “I was always a little bit in awe of her… she was like a goddess with cookies.”
Ann loved to have fun and laugh, but most of all she loved a good party with dancing. She would be one of the first to step onto the dance floor and one of the last to leave. She loved music from all different genres, her favorites including 1950s rock n ‘roll, opera singer Andrea Bocelli, Joni Mitchell, James Taylor and Carly Simon. Ann was also thrilled with a good cup of coffee, chocolate bars (a stash always in her purse), dolls and playing with her grandchildren.
After spending many summers at Martha’s Vineyard, Ann moved year round to her beloved island in 1996. She dedicated herself to volunteering for Martha’s Vineyard Community Services, Habitat for Humanity, MV Agricultural Society, Martha’s Vineyard Garden Club and the Federated Church of Edgartown, among others.
Summer on the island was her ultimate bliss – sunbathing and swimming at State Beach, taking visiting friends for a visit, Sunday lunches at Mel’s Diner, browsing the farmers markets, cheering at the 4th of July parade of Edgartown, attend live entertainment and watch the beautiful sunset over Menemsha Beach. Her most favorite island experience of all was the annual Oak Bluffs fireworks display. Every year after the famous fireworks grand finale, she exclaims, “Wasn’t that WONDERFUL! ? Best fireworks to date! ”
Ann has always given generously of her time to serve the communities in which she has lived throughout her life. She was kind and determined, and had a taste for life with an energy level that rarely went down. She was a loving mother, wife, daughter, sister and friend – and lifted the spirits of hundreds more. Ann taught her kids to see the beauty of the world, and when you can’t find it, do it! To be a leader, not a follower, to be a true friend and all food, no matter how humble, is good if prepared with love.
For 81 years the world has had Ann’s gift and she will be sorely missed. But in Heaven there is a big party, and Ann – young, beautiful and whole again – is right in the middle of the dance.
Ann is survived by her daughters: Bethany Durkin, Gay Sherman and Robin Harper; grandchildren: Galen, Olivia, Chauncey, Lucy and Sarah; and his brother, Harold (Ted) Mellor. She is predeceased by her son, Richard Mark Sherman; brother, Mark E. Mellor; and parents, Ruth and Harold Mellor. A celebration of Ann’s life will be held at the end of July at the Deep River Congregational Church in Deep River, CT.
Donations can be made in his memory to MV Community Services, 111 Edgartown Road, Vineyard Haven, MA 02568 or to National Capital Region Chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association, 8180 Greensboro Drive, Suite 400, McLean, VA 22102 or other nonprofit or charity of your choice.
You can deposit your condolences online at the funeral home HERE.