Jerry Louis Sherman, age 93, of Lawrence, Kansas passed away peacefully at home from natural causes on Sunday, November 15, 2020. Jerry was born in Iola, Kansas on April 20, 1927 and was the eldest of two sons to Avery Lenox and Parilee Octavia “Tave” (Long) Sherman. Jerry attended schools in Kansas, Texas, and New Mexico as a youth given his father’s employment as a nitroglycerin “shooter” for oil drilling companies. Jerry always considered Iola, Kansas as his hometown, where he married Nellouise (Nell) Shanahan on June 10, 1951.
Jerry attended Allen County Community College and the University of Kansas where he studied architecture and was a member of Phi Kappa Tau fraternity. During the end of World War II, Jerry enlisted in the Army Air Corps and served in North Carolina until 1946. In 1952, Jerry joined the Air Force as a commissioned officer where he earned his “wings” as a licensed pilot in July of 1953. Jerry had a 20-year career in the Air Force, flying thousands of hours in 19 different aircraft, including a year-long Vietnam war tour in 1967-68 where he flew over 1,200 hours of combat missions in a Cessna 0-1 Bird Dog. During his career, Jerry earned 14 medals including the Distinguished Flying Cross, The Bronze Star, and The Meritorious Service Medal. Air Force career highlights include being a member of Strategic Air Command (SAC), and piloting a communications plane during President Richard Nixon’s tour around the world in 1969. Jerry retired from the Air Force at the rank of Major. The family moved to Lawrence, Kansas in 1972 where Jerry worked at Packer Plastics as a purchasing agent. Jerry also had a 15-year career with the U.S Post Office in Lawrence when he retired in 1994.
Nell and Jerry have three sons Tom (born 1953), Barry (1959), and Fred (1964), and one daughter Penny (1955). Jerry’s love for flying led to the purchase of a new Cessna 152 (N94962) in the mid-1980’s where Jerry flew the plane to Lawrence from the Cessna factory in Wichita. Jerry utilized his Cessna 152 for many years as a flight instructor as he taught dozens of individuals in the Lawrence area how to fly, including his sons and daughter. Jerry kept his pilot’s license active and current well after he turned the age of 80. Jerry was a Boy’s Scout leader, a Mason, and belonged to the Military Officers Association of America (MOAA), and other fraternal organizations during his lifetime.
Jerry was preceded in death by his wife of 61 years, Nellouise of Lawrence, Kansas: his parents of Wichita Falls, Texas; and his brother, Thomas Avery Sherman of Mount Pleasant, Texas. Jerry is survived by sons, Thomas B. and wife Marilyn, Barry N. and wife Rita, Frederick L. and wife Susan, all of Olathe, Kansas; one daughter, Penny Tubbs Johnson and husband Gary, of Arlington, Texas; nine grandchildren, and seven great-grandchildren.
Funeral services will be held at 11:00 a.m. on Friday, November 20 with a visitation on Thursday, November 19 from 4:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. at Warren-McElwain 120 West 13th
Lawrence, KS 66044. His body will be laid to rest at Lawrence Memorial Park Cemetery.