Philip Stone Sherman

Philip S. Sherman died on Aug. 18, 2010, of cardiac arrest at the age of 95.

Phil was born in Akron, Ohio, on March 3, 1915, the son of George Wilmarth Sherman and Josephine Crumrine Sherman. He graduated from the University of Akron in 1936 with degrees in mathematics and economics. Don Gardner, the Dean of Students, hired Phil as an Instructor of Economics, Assistant Dean of Students, and Adviser of Men ("fancy titles but lousy pay," Phil always said).

In 1939 Phil joined the Air Force. He served on General Claire ("Flying Tiger") Chenault's staff in China, Burma and India, and held the rank of Lt. Colonel when he retired in 1946. He returned to the University of Akron and resumed his academic and administrative positions.

In 1943, while Phil was in Asia, Peggy Gardner sent him a photo of a woman she had met at Eaton's, a dude ranch in Wyoming. Most of the other officers had pin-ups of their wives or girlfriends and, not to be outdone, Phil put the photo on his bureau. In the summer of 1946, the Gardners invited Phil to vacation with them at Eaton's Ranch. Phil was assigned a cabin next to one Kate Priestley, a lawyer from Galena, Ill. She looked familiar, but Phil just couldn't place her -- until Peggy reminded him of the photo. Phil and Kate quickly discovered that they were perfectly matched, and they married that fall.

In 1949 Phil began the second phase of his life. His son Paul was born that July and that fall he left the University for a better-paying job at Goodyear. He was the Sales Operating Manager of the Chemical Division for the next 20 years, retiring in 1969. Following in his father's footsteps, Phil served on the Akron Board of Education for 11 years (1953-64), including one year as Board President.

In 1969, Phil and Kate moved briefly to Galena, and then on to Palo Alto, Calif. The next 20 years, the third phase of Phil's life, were spent avidly exploring and observing western habitats and wildlife, especially birds. He also became involved in various charitable organizations including The Nature Conservancy and Amnesty International. Despite Phil's military background he strongly opposed the war in Vietnam, and he wrote scores of letters to government officials and newspapers urging immediate withdrawal.

Kate passed away in 1989, and the next year Phil moved into a retirement community in Palo Alto. There he met Mary Ann Shallenberger and, at age 75, began the fourth phase of his life. Phil and Mary Ann were married in 1992, in a ceremony attended by a raucous gathering of popcorn and paper airplane-throwing children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. For the next 18 years, Phil and Mary Ann's life was consumed by frequent travels (especially to Asia to procure antique furniture for re-sale at the shop Mary Ann had started) and hosting visits from friends and extended family. Phil and Mary Ann were inseparable, and their life together was full and happy; they passed away within a few months of each other. Phil is interred at the Glendale Cemetery in Akron.

Throughout his life, Philip Sherman's kindness, generosity, loyalty to family and friends, civic mindedness, enjoyment of life, and sense of humor shined through. He was appreciated and respected by everyone who knew him. Phil is survived by his son, daughter-in-law and two grandchildren.


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