Wednesday, May 17, 2017

From Zero to 99 in a flash

We all knew that Grandma Sherwood was old.  We all knew she wouldn't live forever.  We were so lucky to have her for so long.   And really, up to the last month of her life, she was fiercely independent, and opinionated.  She was weaker than in years past, but her sharp wit was there.

She died quietly.   Painlessly.    Gradually enough that we knew it was coming.

All of the practicalities that must be dealt with when someone dies.  Planning the funeral, burial, reception.   Sadness one minute, laughter the next.    One of those occasions when the family all comes together.   As much to be together as to say a final farewell.

My mother in law gave me a priceless gift a few days before she died.  As I leaned down to kiss  her goodbye, she stared into my eyes with her pure blue eyes and said "I have liked you for a very long time".   She was not focused, but away somewhere.   That was the best gift I have ever received.

We have found hundreds of old family pictures.   What to do with them all.  I feel that we are the stewards of them.

From a little baby to an old woman, and even in death, Mary Sherwood was very loved.

Mary Imogene Burke 9 weeks old




Mary Burke Sherwood November 23, 1917- May 3, 2017

 

Mary B. Sherwood (99), a retired-writer editor for the U.S. Information Agency died May 3 at her home at Goodwin House, Alexandria. For several years she wrote a column for the Agency, "The Week in the United States" about domestic matters ranging from civil rights to politics, which was widely published in overseas newspapers. She covered news assignments at the White House and State Department, as well as Republican and Democratic national party conventions. As a member of the press, she accompanied presidential campaign tours of Richard Nixon, Hubert Humphrey, and George McGovern, and traveled with Pat Nixon to Peru and Africa. In her retirement her hobby was genealogy and she wrote a book about one of her ancestors, "Pilgrim: A Biography of William Brewster," which is still in print. She also wrote a booklet about her Irish immigrant grandparents, "Nicholas Burke and Margaret Shannon: Their Descendants and a Few Ancestors." She was born in Red Oak, Iowa, November 23, 1917, and graduated in journalism from the University of Iowa. She spent most of her life as a resident of Falls Church. Her husband of 70 years, Robert B. Sherwood, died in 2010. She is survived by a daughter, Elizabeth Sherwood of Annapolis, MD., and Venice, FL, a son, Nicholas A. Sherwood of Reston, six grandchildren and two great-grandchildren. She was a member of the Graham Road Methodist Church, Falls Church; Pi Beta Phi social sorority, the Society of Mayflower Descendants, the New England Historic Genealogical Society, and the National Press Club.

 


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