Sharon Neff “Sherry” Kerley, of Richmond, Va., passed away peacefully on Monday, August 22, 2022, surrounded with love from her family. She was preceded in death by her parents, Paul E. Neff and Pauline G. Neff. Sherry is survived by her husband, Malcolm T. Kerley (Mal); her children, Kate DeVriendt (Erik), Jenny Larkum (Michael), and Matt Kerley (Frances); her grandchildren, Jonah, Alice, Eli, Gabe, and Maya DeVriendt, and Eva, Paul, and Mac Larkum; and many other loving family and friends.
Sherry was born on November 17, 1949 in Baltimore, Maryland, and moved to Kilmarnock, Virginia in 1952 when her parents opened the Ben Franklin 5 & 10 store. By the age of 10, she was helping customers and operating the store’s cash register. She graduated from St. Margaret’s School in Tappahannock in 1968 and The College of William & Mary in 1972. Moving to Richmond, she worked briefly before obtaining her teaching certificate to begin her career in elementary education. She was a wonderful, loving, and dedicated teacher who, to her husband’s amazement, would remember the names of her students and parents 25+ years later. Her career was interrupted to raise her children and she retired from teaching in 2001.
Retirement allowed Sherry to travel with her husband, enjoy her grandchildren, and to actively participate in various groups and organizations. She loved the annual Beach Week with her children and grandchildren, where Happy Hour was at 5 o’clock every day on the beach! Among her many activities included the Chi Omega alumni group, PEO, St. Matthew’s Wedding Guild, Tri Club, Tuckahoe Woman’s Club, and serving as a docent at the Governor’s Executive Mansion.
Sherry will be remembered as a loving wife, mother, and Nonna, and as a loyal friend, lifelong educator, and gracious hostess with a flair for fashion.
Family and friends will be received at Affinity Funeral Service, 2720 Enterprise Parkway, Richmond, on Tuesday, August 30, 2022, from 6-8 PM. A Memorial Service will be held at St. Matthew’s Episcopal Church, 1101 Forest Avenue, Richmond, on Wednesday, August 31, 2022, at 2:00 PM, with a reception following in the Church Parish Hall. Interment in St. Matthew’s Memorial Garden will be private.
In lieu of flowers, and in recognition of Sherry’s work as an educator, please consider a donation to Elijah House Academy at elijahhouseacademy.org.