Our Family Legacy
On May 17, 1954 we became grandparents for the first time to a beautiful baby girl, later named Sherri Lynette. What a thrill to have this precious little girl come into our lives. I remember she was born at a military hospital in San Pedro, California. Carol, her mother had been staying with her parents, the Handys, as Sherri’s father had been sent to Germany as a part of the armed forces.
When Sherri was about six months old her mother left her in the loving care of her grandmother Handy to join Sherri's dad in far off Germany. I remember having a fun time taking Carol on a shopping spree prior to her leaving on the ship for overseas.
Time past and Walt and Carol returned to the States on a troop ship. The traveled with another couple that had bought a car in Germany and was to pick it up in New York. They then drove overland to California, stopping in Laramie, Wyoming to visit Walt's Uncle Andrew and family.
It was such fun to have Carol and Walt comes to visit us and bring Sherri. Her Aunt Marilyn just loved to fuss over her, combing her hair and playing with her as she was such a doll.
Sherri's Great Grandmother Catherine Whipple used to spend the summer with us. It was the summer of 1955 when we had a fun picnic at the park. I shall always remember how happy Grandma Catherine was to hold and play with her. I cherish a picture of the two of them taken at the picnic table.
A few years past and David, Lisa and Lori joined Sherri as our loving grandchildren. We had fun times with them and camp outs in the San Bernardino Mountains along with their grandparents Verne and Macel.
Another special day was when we drove over to their home to attend Sherri’s baptism.
On May 25th 1964 Gus and I were honored on our 35th wedding anniversary by our children Walt, Carol and Marilyn. We were so happy to show off our grandchildren on this occasion. Carol made the cake, and a lovely evening was spent with friends and family. We cherish the picture taken that evening, in our living room with our children and grandchildren.
It was the summer of 1969 when we took Sherri and Lisa with us to Arizona to spend a few days and attend a Whipple reunion to be held at the home of Curt and Eva Mae Ligon and also the home of Aunt Jennie. It was located on the outskirts of Phoenix on about five acres with just a few neighbors around. Curt was a professional clown and needed a place large enough to park his carnival rides he often used at grand openings and different fairs. Curt owned his own airplane and was able to land his plane near their swimming pool. It was a perfect place to hold the family reunion.
A pit was dug and a beef was barbecued for the dinner that was served around the pool. Sherri and all the children really enjoyed swimming. To the delight of all the children, the cotton candy machine and ice cream machine was set up along side the pool.
Volleyball and horseshoes was played by many and then later in the afternoon Curt started up his airplane and for all of those who wanted to fly he would take them up two at a time. He would fly them up and over the hill next to his home, then land and pick up others waiting in line for their turn.
Among some of his carnival equipment was a bright red fire engine that he had bought from the city of Phoenix. After dark he would load us all on the engine and away we would go, riding all over the surrounding desert with siren and bells clanging. What fun for the kids!
After the ride on the desert we would return and sit around Curt as he put on his show with the dummy. Sherri had her picture taken with Curt in his clown outfit and in the clown car. The clown car was unique, when he would blow the horn an artificial snake would pop out of the radiator.
After the reunion we spent a few more days visiting Aunt Jennie and the Ligons. It was at this time that Sherri really got acquainted with Mace. He was Ligon's youngest son who was about a year older than Sherri. It seemed like there was always a bunch of young people there some swimming, and some riding horses that they boarded near by. Sherri had fun swimming and riding a horse with Mace and also had fun riding Mace's Honda.
After returning home Sherri received a letter from Mace which pleased her very much. As teenagers they really had a fun time together.
In 1973 we were visiting in Provo, Utah. We were invited to join the Handys, along with Sherri, and Sherri’s boy friend, Bart Larsen on a fishing trip. After a fun day on the lake and good luck catching fish we returned to Provo. Brother Handy instructed Sherri and Bart to help us clean the fish and to put them in milk cartons with water. We then put them into the freezer to freeze. The next morning we left for Kanab taking over fish along in our ice chest. We had a wonderful trout breakfast with Uncle Charley an Aunt Eva while visiting them on their farm.
In 1974 we joined with the family in Manti to witness the wedding of Sherri and Bart. After a lovely reception held in Provo they left for California to spend their honeymoon at our home in Hawthorne while we still visited friends and relatives in Utah.
We thrilled at the birth of each of our great grandchildren, five of them being children of Sherri and Bart. There is Christina, Brent, Joseph, Mary Ann and Jonathan David. We have enjoyed having them come and spend time in our home. Bart climbed the weeping willow tree and hung a swing, that we got for them to enjoy. Croquet was another game the children always enjoyed.
Grandpa and I celebrated our 60th Wedding Anniversary May 25th 1989. Prior to our party Sherri flew out from Virginia to be with us and have a nice visit. What a thrill for us. She took over the serving of the refreshments to our guests.
Thanks to one of our dear neighbors we have her on video taken in the downstairs kitchen, supervising the other help on what to do.
We will always cherish this last visit we had with Sherri.
We Love You,
My memories of Sherri go back to the day Grandpa and I took Carol to the San Pedro Army hospital to have her baby. They wouldn't let us stay with her and Walt was in Europe serving in the Army so we had to leave her alone to have her first baby with no one to comfort and be with her. They said they would call us as soon as she delivered her baby. They didn't call so I called the next morning and she had a beautiful little girl.
When Carol was well and strong she worked at Douglas Aircraft not far from our house on Walton saving all she could so she could visit Walt in Europe. We enjoyed and cared for Sherri for 5 months while Carol visited Walt. Carol surely hated to leave her baby and we all shed tears when she left. She bought us a new washing machine before she left which I enjoyed for years.
Stanton, Sharon and Rowena surely enjoyed having a baby in our home and Sherri got lots of love and attention during those months. Sherri was sick only once and that was on Christmas day. We all felt sorry that she had a cold. She was so sweet and always smiling and was a joy to all of us. We surely missed her when Carol returned and she and Walt went to BYU for Walt's schooling.
It is with deep love and a great deal of pride that I recall Sherri's sweet, patient disposition. She had great love for everyone, especially her brothers and sisters. She was a religious little girl and loved to go to Church with her family. This spiritual disposition stayed with her through her teens and courtship years.
During the years that Walt and Carol were at BYU in Provo they often spent summers with us in Long Beach, California and we had a chance to enjoy Sherri. We had lots of company and fishing trips. As her mother, I went to Provo to take care of Carol when the younger children were born and a little Sherri was growing and was such a sweet happy little girl. I always enjoyed these times with Carol and the children.
I remember her dating Bart Larsen before we went on our mission in 1972. We were well acquainted with his parents in Provo. Sister Larsen and Bart were wonderful genealogists. We spent two years on our mission in New Zealand, traveling afterward. Just before we came home we were in the London Temple and were very surprised to see Bart and his parents there and had a good visit with them. We knew that Sherri was dating a boy she was getting very serious about so Grandpa said, “Bart, you’d better get home and put a ring on Sherri's finger or you won't get her.” That is just what he did.
As we came home shortly after we got off the plane and all the family were there at the airport. Grandpa stepped off the plane and kissed the ground, so thankful to be back in America after traveling four months after our mission. Bart and Sherri came running up to show us her diamond and they were so happy.
That was in November and they were married the following April. Many times we went to Bart and Sherri's and had Bart's spaghetti. He had made his own spaghetti and it was so good! We laughed a lot at Sherri's and really had fun. She was a gourmet cook and we always enjoyed her goodies.
I recall one of the many sessions at the temple when we met Bart and Sherri, Mata and Dennis, Ann Black and Marie Johnson and we did sealings for our Swiss ancestors, the Fischer and Shaffelburger lines. Afterwards we went and had ice cream. Bart and Sherri loved going to the temple.
I recall especially that she was president of her ward Relief Society in Illinois, and she was having a visiting teacher's convention and had asked me to speak. She served a beautiful luncheon of keische, green salad and pink punch and raspberry sherbet with cookies. This was on Saturday and she had worked all day Friday on it. They lived 40 minutes from the church. This luncheon was served after the seminar. She had 4 tables set up and served many sisters.
For her program she had a large basket of many colored roses. She had 5 sisters all dressed in white. One at a time each sister came from behind a curtain and sat in a rocker recalling her wonderful experiences as a visiting teacher. Sherri had music between each sister's talk. It was just a real spiritual feast to listen to the sisters and their experiences.
Then Sherri gave her talk and said how like each sister was like a rose, different but so lovely and beautiful and tied it in with visiting teaching and how we can help our sisters. I gave a short talk at the end and told them what a special spirit Sherri was and how she loved all the sisters and how I loved Relief Society. It was really a special seminar. Then she served her luncheon with china on beautifully set tables. The sisters just loved it.
Another fun time we had with Sherri and Bart in Illinois was when Grandpa took all the children fishing. They caught a 50 pound catfish and the newspaper took a picture of them proudly holding up their big catch. What a time they had.
Sherri had a wonderful mind and loved books and was very intelligent. She read to her children and they loved books and learning. I'm sure she is using her talents and love of the gospel now to bring souls into the family of Jesus Christ.
Sherri wanted her children to have music and felt that was part of their education. She taught them first herself. She had dreams and goals for her children and was so proud of Bart, especially when he was in the Bishopric.
A few years ago, Sherri, Lori and Carols and Sherri’s baby were returning from finding a place for Lori and Glenn to live in Kansas. Sherri’s baby was on the floor between the seats when they hit a 7 point deer. It completely ruined Carol's car but no one was injured. It was such a scary thing that all of them said it was just a miracle that they came through alive. Carol had just been driving at 70 miles per hour and Sherri had just started to drive and was going only about 30 miles per hour which gave them a chance for survival. They all felt that Heavenly Father was watching over them.
In 1984, our family felt that since our family was being separated through marriages, missions and college, that we needed a family newsletter. Bart and Sherri were the first to volunteer their services. Since that December they have worked hard to see that our family kept close in spirit and enjoyed our wonderful newsletter. For this we are truly grateful.
When Bart and Sherri came to Provo for visits with their 5 children, Bart's mother always had them stay with her but at times we enticed them for early morning waffles or some meals on our deck so we have enjoyed them as they (the children) were growing and have always admired their loving intelligent children.
Sherri and I had good fun shopping trips when she came to visit. I remember our last shopping trip. She came by herself and we talked and talked and shopped and shopped. Sherri bought blouses, skirts and pants. She was always thinking of Christina and what she would look pretty in. This was a big sale at Pykettes. We brought everything home and had to bring everything in from the car and look at it and admire it all over again. We had such a wonderful time together. I loved her so much and felt many times like she was my own daughter.
Sherri went home and found that she had a lump in her breast and in the months following she decided to go to Mexico to a hospital there. Don and Ann and I decided to go to see her there on the 31st of November, 1989 at the Bay of Baja. She had a beach room where she and Bart lived for a while. Her long hair was gone and she had a big tumor in her stomach and didn't enjoy food and was always full of gas. She was so glad to see us and so was Bart. We went for a little walk. She still smiled and we talked and enjoyed her. This was the last time I saw Sherri alive.
Carol spent a month with her as did Lori and Lisa before she died and I must pay tribute to Carol for her love for Bart and the help she gave to him during this time of trial. She and Bart were with Sherri 24 hours a day the last week and with her courage, Carol carried on. Sherri was awake much of the time before she died and talked to the children and told them good bye. Sherri’s great love was for Bart and then her family.
The funeral was beautiful. I know Sherri is happy and working hard with Grandpa on missionary and genealogy work now.
- Macel Handy
For some reason, I was blessed with an incredible woman as a mother.
She taught me many things.
She had a living knowledge of the Savior
Stuff I remember:
Maybe one of the reasons I am not married yet is that I am holding on for someone who I think has the potential to be that cool. Maybe I am just not looking hard enough.
I was so fortunate that at 12 years old I was given a sweet little joy baby from heaven, not a sister, but almost. She was my little niece. It was a wonderful experience in caring and loving this pure little gift from God and it made me a better mother years later when I was given my own dear children.
My sister Carol came to live with us when her husband Walt, went to Germany. She was expecting and went to the base when it was time to deliver her baby. She was alone as I understand it and a few days later we went to pick her up. As soon as Carol got in the car, I got to hold Sherri and I was so thrilled. I looked into her darling face and thought, “She is so beautiful”. She had big round eyes and was so white - I thought she was the most beautiful baby I had ever seen. I got to hold her going home and then as we were able to take care of her - it was a true joy.
Carol decided to go and be with Walt in Germany for a few months and then we had her all to ourselves to care for. As I think about it now, it was a really big responsibility for Mom but she never complained. It seemed instead a wonderful opportunity and she just loved it, we all loved it and took this time to be with her and it almost seemed from then on that she was our little sister.
Our family always got together for birthdays and baptisms and other times and so whenever we saw Sherri we played with her and watched her grow up and become the darling little girl which she was. She was always so happy and very good natured. Always smiling and loving, she was a joy to be around. Whenever I babysat for Carol, it was a good experience because Sherri could help me.
When she was a teenager, we still found Sherri to be loving and kind. She took great care of her brother and sisters.
I remember how much she loved Bart when she lived in Utah. She sent him on his mission and started dating other young men. One was so taken with Sherri that he wanted to marry her right then but was not up to the standard which Sherri deserved. Carol sent a letter or telegram to Bart and said if you love Sheri tell her. I guess she got the message from Bart and dropped the other guy much to Carol's relief. Soon Bart came home and Sherri married her returned missionary.
Bart fit right in and was so much fun that he related to the adults and the younger teenagers. Bart and Sherri were the link between the older and younger generation. As their darling children came along, they became so happy and such loving parents. I can never remember Sherri ever getting upset or unhappy with anyone. She seemed to be such a peacemaker and was able to love everyone so many were drawn to her.
I remember one night where we went to their house out in Orem and Bart made us homemade spaghetti noodles and Sherri made a fabulous sauce and we ate dinner and surely enjoyed ourselves. Afterwards we played the funnest games like: Going to Heaven on an Ironing Board. (Someone please write that one up so we can remember how you play it). It was always fun being with Sherri and Bart. We also saw their upstairs area which they had fixed up. They were so clever and were able to live there for a while. Sherri was a great homemaker and could decorate and do clever crafts to make her home beautiful. Bart and Sherri made a terrific couple. Both were very intelligent and at one party at Aunt Venna's house they whipped everyone in Trivial Pursuit.
A few years ago our family really splurged and took a trip back east and was able to go to Virginia to where Bart was stationed. We were able to stay with them and go and see some of the sights around. Sherri had some wonderful places we could go like Williamsburg. The day we decided to go to Williamsburg it rained so hard it flooded, but we still had a wonderful time. Sherri fixed a lovely lunch for us to take with us and was so thoughtful to make our stay really great. The night we got there, we were able to visit with Sherri and her darling children and we were able to feel a wonderful spirit in their home. Amy got acquainted with Mary Ann and she loved being there. Bart and Sherri always got along so well and were so fun to be with.
One of the nights we were there, Sherri and Bart organized the funnest activity. It is one all our children remember. We went crab fishing. Sherri went to the store and got chicken wings. We drove to the bay and we went out on a dock and put the chicken on the end of a line which we put in the water. After a little while, we pulled up our bait and there would be a crab on the end of the line. We would all yell and Michelle would run and get the bucket and put them in. I was always worrying about some of the little ones falling in but they never did and we just had a ball. After we went home, Sherri boiled the crabs and we dipped them in butter. We had such a great time and it has become on of our choicest family memories. Sherri's enthusiasm made it really fun.
Soon after this Sherri found out she had cancer and had the greatest faith that she would bet better. Bart gave her a wonderful blessing and she felt that the Lord would allow her to raise her lovely children. I told Sherri that the thing that worried me the most was that if Heavenly Father wanted her home she would be ready and that we might have to give her up because she was ready. Sherri has always been a loving kind considerate peacemaker. She had a good disposition and was always happy.
Since Dave had looked into different types of cancer and the best treatment for them, just a few years before when his Dad died, we were certain because of all the literature that we had read, and personal experiences of others, that if we could get Sherri to the Gresham Cancer Clinic down in Tijuana, that she would get better. When she and Bart arrived we went to pick her up and she was very sick. She couldn't hold anything down and had had chemotherapy which really was not a cure for the type of cancer she had. All during this time she was positive and had faith that she would be cured. She couldn't hold down their juices as much as she should have, and for a time it helped a little but she was in the advancing stages and was very weak. She tried hard to make it work and she and Bart stayed down there for three weeks and had some time together. It did not turn out like we wanted it to. She went home and was able to spend Christmas with her children and died in February.
Maybe Grandpa needed her worse than we did but we have felt that an angel has done out of our lives and we will always miss her.
Thank you Sherri for your devotion to your husband and children and your great example of love and kindness and concern for others. During her last days on earth she brought happiness to many people and always kept her great sense of humor.
Love Always, Sharon Berry
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