Sherry 26 Oct 1962 -23 Oct 2019

Nov 8, 05:58 PM

Sherry Brendel

26 Oct 1962 – 23 Oct 2019

Yeah – cancer sucks!

I had to stand by and watch – watch as cancer took a strong, independent, free-spirited, confident woman, and turn her into a scared girl.

Before I had the chance to meet Sherry and get the joy and pleasure of spending over 35 years with her, she had quite a life. She started everything in Wakefield, on October 26th, 1962. She lived all of her childhood in Wakefield, Massachusetts and she graduated from Wakefield High School with the Class of 1980.

Later on, she was a volunteer with her local Fire Department, but shortly after that, she left Wakefield and joined the US Army and was a Dental Hygienist for a few years. Lucky for me, she then decided to join the Air Force where her first assignment after Basic Training and technical training as a Security Specialist brought her to RAF Bentwaters in the United Kingdom. That is where I met her, fell in love with her, and proposed to her, on Christmas Eve, a long time ago. Even though we have been married since February 27, 1987, Sherry was always a Woman of the Eighties (as I liked to say back then) she kept her maiden name of Brendel, while I was Nadon. Though we never met the Queen or Lady Di, I got to feel like I was living with a Princess for a few years in and and around Felixstowe, Ipswich, and Blaxhall, England until the summer of 1988.

Sherry and I went on to Ft. Worth, Texas where we were stationed at Carswell AFB. It was here that our first child, Chris, was born. A few years after Chris was born in 1991, we were reassigned to F. E. Warren AFB in Cheyenne, Wyoming where we have lived since 1993. Chris was soon joined with a little brother, Ryan, just a few short months after moving to Cheyenne. Sherry then left the Air Force at that time to take on a much bigger role in life – that of a mother to Chris and Ryan. When not being the best mom in the world, Sherry also found the time to get an Associates Degree in Liberal Arts, and became very interested in Geology. The interest with Geology also stretched to Archaeology, and that was just fine with both of our boys – they loved Dinosaurs too!! Later on, Sherry was able to get back into the working world where she was a Paraprofessional at Arp Elementary with the school district. Then her background in the military as a Security Specialist got the better of her and she ended up working as a K-9 handler for the Wyoming Department of Corrections while simultaneously rejoining the Air Force as a member of the Air Guard. After a few years with WY DOC, Sherry spent some time with the Postal Service and delivered your letters and packages for you.

All the years added up and Chris went on to play for Post 6 and get a few scholarships to play baseball for a couple of community colleges — as Chris says on his Facebook profile, he studied Baseball at North Eastern Nebraska Junior College. He then made his mother proud and joined the Air Force himself where he still works as a civilian with the HVAC shop at F. E. Warren AFB. Ryan has gone on to graduate from the University of Wyoming with a degree in Mechanical Engineering with a minor in Mathematics. Ryan has taken his skills and currently lives in California, working for the Navy at China Lake Naval Base with NAVAIR as an Engineer in the Weapons Division.

Then it starts to suck — not too long after joining the Guard, Sherry found out that she had Ovarian cancer (I purposely, always spell cancer with a small “C” – it does not deserve a capital). Sherry never gave up – ever!! She went on to continue her training in the Guard and served for a few more years before she retired. Because of that little “c” word, we traveled to Houston, Ft Collins, Denver, and Boston. While all of her Doctors have been great – the Doctors in Boston at Massachusetts General Hospital have been more than exceptional – everybody at Mass General is EXCEPTIONAL. Doctors Birrier, Growdon, and Castro tried and tried but this time, cancer won. Working with all of the Doctors at Mass General has been Sherry’s local Oncologist from the Cheyenne Cancer Center – Doctor Workman. Dr Workman has been very instrumental with getting Sherry the best care that we could. We thank all of them!

Sherry took on a few interests after the boys grew up – she tried her skills with Archery for a while and that lead her to taking up Trap Shooting with the local boys and girls at the Cheyenne Trap and Skeet Club, where she served on the Board of Directors. She met many great people there, but none better than Sarah and Larry, her pseudo-parents and friends. With Sarah’s friendship, Sherry became active with the Cancer Assistance Association in Cheyenne. Sherry and I were also able to spend a little time ourselves, traveling for pleasure to Italy a few times, and to the California coast to visit Chris while he served his country. Sherry made close to 75 trips to see doctors in Boston. I was there for some of them, not as many as I would have liked – life and responsibilities kept getting in the way, but of the many times that I was able to go with her, we made the best of those trips to Boston too. Lobsters, clams, and beers while sitting on the ocean. Pizzas in the North End, baseball at Fenway on top of the Green Monster, walks down Commonwealth and through the Commons and along the Dirty Water of the Charles.

Unfortunately, on 23 Oct 2019, just a few days before her 57th birthday, at 12:14 in the afternoon, Sherry lost and she had to leave all of us behind. Mom and dad. Brother. Sister and brother-in-law that, if all of this were a movie, and we wish it it was, because it could have been a fiction story instead of real life – Jo-Ann and Bill would have won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor and Actress. Without the help of Jo-Ann and Bill, who’s support was insurmountable, Sherry’s struggle would have been much larger.

Sherry has always loved everything. All of our cats over the years, Bert, Herb, Gravy (Ryan got to name him), Skinny (yeah, Ryan again…..)….. All of our dogs, Spencer, Sherlock, Bubbles, Chewy, her K-9 with WY DOC – Porter, or Gabby (a K-9 for Mobility puppy that we got to help raise). Our current babies that Sherry loves – Finn, Murphy, but more than anything, the best girl in the world – Molly!!! I know If you want to remember Sherry and honor her – go get your self a great Black Lab from the nearest shelter and love and cherish her like Sherry did with Molly. Molly is going to miss Sherry so much.

In lieu of any flowers or cards, please consider a donation to the Cancer Assistance Association right here in Cheyenne in Sherry’s name. She spent time with them and they do a great thing to help those with cancer.

Yeah – cancer sucks. It took Sherry from all of you. The most outgoing, personable, best friend you’ll ever get to have. It took her away from me, her Husband, Les. I’ll miss her more than anything and I know I will never, ever forget her and her smile and sense of humor, as sarcastic and as warped as it could be. I miss you, I love you, and I can’t wait to see you again. Chewy, Bubbles, Spencer, Bert, Herb – they’re all there waiting for you and they’ve already told the big Guy to let you in. Molly and the rest of us, we’ll be along one day – wait for us.

I’ve got to go now, writing this this to tell you about the most wonderful person you could have ever known, it has taken its toll on me. My jaw hurts from the swelling in my throat, and my eyes are wet with tears. Let me leave you with the first joke/riddle that Sherry ever told me, one that has been my favorite since then…..

You know why anteaters never get colds? Because they are full of ANTibodies……




Got something to say?

  1. Very nicely written. I asked Ken and Pa to check out your website if they haven’t lately.

    Take care.

    Jim Nadon · Monday October 28, 2019 · #

  2. Les, that was the best letter I ever read..
    Love you and Sherry and I miss her already.
    Time, that’s what it takes to get used to not seeing her any more. Your mother has been gone for 12 Years and I still miss Her.
    Love You PA

    PA · Monday October 28, 2019 · #

  3. Wow, I just found this on the 7SPS Facebook page. I’m in shock. I remember the good times we had in FTW. Going to the Hare and the Hound. Les and family, so sorry for your loss!

    — Don Blume · Monday November 23, 2020 · #