Earl Watson Sherman, Jr., such a long, strong name, but Ompie means so much more. Ompie is more than just Dad, Grampa, or friend; it is you and everything, as you stepped up for three generations and were everything! Nobody knew that your marrying Karen Lackie on April 22, 1977, would help you shape the lives of so many and bring such happiness to our lives over the years, the best and most influential years ever! Having you born in Coventry, R.I. on Feb. 9, 1942 (71 years ago) has made it possible for us to have the opportunity to grow up hearing so many wonderful stories of all you have seen and done. Many stories told on the road again, ranging from your love of driving trucks for 50 years, ending your career with Sunstate Carriers, where you made some truly amazing friends, to all the magnificent places you got to thoroughly enjoy along the way, to your love of hunting and teaching us to fish, shoot and fix our rigs. We all know that nothing topped your spending time with Cody working on project boats and going fishing. We have always been so proud of you, in all that you have done. We all know how you loved your "wiffel," Karen, so dearly and how losing her Bumble has shattered her heart into a million pieces. You were so proud to be a lifetime member of OOIDA (Owner Operator Independent Drivers Association), which comes as no surprise to us, since we know how much you loved being a tractor trailer driver. Though there will be no funeral, your Celebration of Life party was a perfect event on July 27, 2013! Seeing you smile and happy with your friends and family, as we had a great time reminiscing about old times and the fantastic journey of your life, including the surprise when we all saw your pictures of you in your USAF uniform for the first time. There will be no burial because, as you said, "I want to be with my wiffel until she kicks the bucket." You two will be buried at the same time, being together forever. Your time with us was cut short on Aug. 15, 2013 when you died peacefully at home.
You were predeceased by your father Earl Sherman, mother Irma Priebe, brother Leonard Sherman, sister Cindy Brown and father-in-law James Lackie.
Those of us who survive you are; your wife Karen of St. Johnsbury. Your children, Lisa Bailey and husband Mark of W. Warwick, R.I., Laurie Gomez of Kissimmee, Fla., Sandra Adams and husband Bryan of Barnet, Roy Willey and wife Kerry of Talbotton, Ga., Beth Sherman of Littleton, N.H. and Cody Sherman of St. Johnsbury. Your grandchildren, Rhiannon Strembicki of W. Warwick, R.I., Meaghan Jeffrey and husband David of St. Johnsbury, Katlynn Stevens of St. Johnsbury, Ashleigh Carr of Waitsfield, Ryan Sherman of St. Johnsbury, Kelsey O'Donnell and husband Kevin of Sutton, Devon Sherman of W. Warwick, R.I., Annabell Gagne of Windsor, Caydence Sherman of Stuart, Fla. and Wyatt Sherman of Stuart, Fla. Your great-grandchildren, Darius Jeffrey, Ariana Jeffrey, Kevin O'Donnell and Gauge Sherman. Your stepmother Roberta Sherman of Washburn, Maine. Your mother-in-law Louine Lackie of Woodsville, N.H. Your brothers-in-law Preston Brown Sr. of Washburn, Maine, and James Lackie, Jr. and wife Betty of Woodsville, N.H. Your step-sisters of Washburn, Maine, Harriet Brown and husband Freddie, Sandra Skidgel. Your step-brothers of Washburn, Maine, Michael Gilliam and wife Cheryl, Cecil Gilliam, Willis Gilliam, Leonard Gilliam. Special cousins Jane Diaz, her sons, Frank and Tony Diaz of Oakland, Ca., and Joyce Sherman of Warwick, R.I. Many special nieces and nephews.
Your cousin Joyce said it best when she said that you are our superhero! Your oldest son, Roy, voiced just how true that is when he said, "please let him know that I learned so much from him. I learned that if you want something you have to work hard for it, never let anybody take what is yours and never take any crap from anybody. I have modeled my life that way and it has worked out very well so far." You would never believe how much that goes for all of us! We'll never forget our incredible times with our Ompie, Dad and friend. We love and miss you beyond compare! Happy Trails to you, until we meet again, Mr. Omp.
Love always, Boston, Lee, Laurie, Annie, Roy, Beth, Code, Rhiannon, Magoon, Crash Again, Ry, Devon, Annabell, Caydence, Wyatt, Dari-Magoon, Ana-Magoon, Beanie and Gauge.