Wednesday, January 26, 2022
5:00 PM to 7:00 PM EST
Heritage Life Story Funeral Homes
Van Strien Creston Chapel
1833 Plainfield Ave., N.E
Grand Rapids, MI 49505
At the family's request memorial contributions are to be made to those listed below. Please forward payment directly to the memorial of your choice.
Below is the contact information for a florist recommended by the funeral home.
Life Story / Obituary
Hardworking, determined, and loyal, James Arnold Sherry lived a life rich in faith and family. A man who found his purpose in providing for his loved ones, James was an inspiration for all who knew him. James proudly gave of his time and talents in service of others. He embraced each moment as a gift and centered himself on the principles he believed in. A devoted husband, father, grandfather, and friend, James will long be remembered and so very missed.
1925 proved especially prosperous with the advent of many remarkable debuts including the first motel, the dedication of Mount Rushmore, the opening of the first Sears Roebuck store, the first issue of the New Yorker and broadcast from the Grand Ole Opry, the election of our nation’s first female governor, the founding of Chrysler Corporation, the publishing of The Great Gatsby, and the infamous Scopes Monkey Trial. This vibrant time grew even more brilliant in Detroit, Michigan, as Mary Helen (Brown) and Arnold Sherry welcomed their son James into their hearts and home on April 29th.
The oldest of the five Sherry children, James had the honorable roles of firstborn and only son. He was a terrific older brother to his four sisters, Peggy, Joyce, Patricia, and Mary Kay. Growing up during the 20s and 30s, James’ early years were rich in family traditions. His father worked as a butcher for Kroger, later becoming a manager, and his mother dedicated herself to homemaking. In time, his father, who grew up in Charlevoix, and his mother, who was from New York, chose to move their family to the Petosky area. James attended St. Francis and enjoyed spending as much time as possible outdoors. He loved swimming and fishing at nearby lakes and was well known for jumping off the roof for fun.
Like many young men in his generation, James was drafted into the Army in the fall of 1943. A proud member of the 115th infantry, he fought in the battle of Normandy and earned the rank of corporal. He completed his service in 1945 and, in 1948, chose to reenlist. For the following two years, he served as a prison guard at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas.
In 1950, he returned to West Michigan, settling in Grand Rapids. While attending a social club in the city, James had the good fortune of meeting the love of his life, Carol Camilli. The couple began dating and soon set their hearts on building a future together. On May 3, 1952, they married at St. Francis Church, officially beginning their 69-year adventure.
The newlyweds made their home in Grand Rapids, where James began his 35-year career with Quimby-Walstrom Paper Co., and Carol worked at an office in East Grand Rapids. James and Carol were blessed to welcome six children to their family. Barbara, David, Joan, Tom, Marge, and Robert quickly became the centers of their worlds. James proudly devoted himself to providing for his family with hard work and unwavering commitment to affording his children love and security.
James was a humble man who enjoyed the simple things in life. Whether tending his gardens, fishing, working on home projects, reading Westerns, or watching Gunsmoke, he was grateful for his blessings. A steak and potato guy, he enjoyed sweet treats and treasured his tools. Traveling with his beloved was always a good time. Over the years, he and Carol enjoyed going up north to Petoskey, down to Branson, Missouri, and adventuring in Las Vegas. These trips were especially enjoyable after James retired in 1987. An active church member, first at St. Francis, then at St. Patrick of Parnell, and later, Grace Church in Cannonsburg, James embodied his faith, proving a powerful role model for all who knew him.
While the world feels less certain in the absence of James’ steadfast presence, may we find comfort in our many treasured memories. May we also find comfort in the honor of carrying his legacy forward. With each line we cast, Western we watch, celebration cake we indulge in, trip we take with our beloved, and project we complete, we celebrate the many ways James gifted our lives. In this way, we keep his spirit alive and inspiring others as he so inspired us.
Mr. James Arnold Sherry, age 96, of Grand Rapids, passed away on January 21, 2022. He was preceded in death by his parents, Arnold A. and Mary Helen (Brown) Sherry; son, David (Lisa) Sherry; and sisters, Peggy (Wes) Pierron, Joyce (John) Van’t Hof, and Patricia Kool. James is survived by his wife of 69 years, Carol; children, Barbara Sherry, Joan (Terry) Eldridge, Tom (Sherry) Sherry, Margie (Al) Bartz, and Robert Sherry; many grandchildren and great-grandchildren; and sister Mary Kay (Norm) Slocum. At James’ family’s request, masks are required, and vaccinations are recommended. Visitation will be held from 5-7 on Wednesday, January 26, 2022, at Heritage Life Story Funeral Home, 1833 Plainfield Ave NE. The funeral service will be held at 1 PM on Friday, January 28, 2022, at the funeral home. Interment in Resurrection Cemetery. Contributions in his memory may be made to the American Cancer Society or Faith Hospice. Please visit www.heritagelifestory.com to read James’s life story, submit a favorite memory or photo, or sign the guestbook online.