Surrounded by her loving family Joanne Webster McSherry passed away peacefully October 30th in Needham, Massachusetts. Joanne was born October 26, 1931 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, to Marcia and Lindsay Webster. She was raised outside Philadelphia in Drexel Hill, Pennsylvania, where she graduated from Upper Darby High School and went on to Pembroke College in Brown University. It was at Pembroke that she met James “Mike” McSherry, who was her brother’s roommate and fellow member of Brown’s wrestling team. Joanne graduated from Brown in 1953 and settled in Cambridge where she worked in research at the Harvard School of Public Health.
Joanne married Mike in Drexel Hill on February 5, 1955 and moved to Norfolk, Virginia, as Mike completed two tours of duty in the Mediterranean with the U.S. Sixth Fleet. Following the Navy and Mike’s graduation from Harvard Business School, Class of ’59, Joanne lived with her growing family in Milton, Massachusetts; Richmond, Virginia; Stamford, Connecticut; Studio City and Woodland Hills, California; Dallas, Texas; Mariemont, Ohio; Lake Forest, Illinois and Wilton, Connecticut, before finally settling in near the Battery in Charleston, South Carolina, in 1989 – weeks before Hurricane Hugo.
Joanne had an extraordinary eye for color and design. You could see it in everything she did: drawing, painting, fine needlework and interior decor. In addition to traveling and living all over the country, Joanne enjoyed trips abroad, from balloon rides and safaris in Africa, to river cruises in Russia and Europe, to winter getaways in Mexico and the Caribbean. Almost every year, the family summered at Periwinkle on Chapoquoit Island, West Falmouth, Massachusetts. It was at Periwinkle that Joanne loved hosting events big and small, the annual tea with her daughters-in-law and granddaughters, to the numerous weddings of family and friends. While living in Charleston she was honored with the JV Nichols award for her volunteer work with the Coastal Crisis Chaplaincy providing support for individuals who have lost a loved one due to a tragic death. The JV Nichols award honors “someone that gives of themselves for the betterment of the community”.
Joanne is predeceased by her husband of 64 years Mike, and survived by four sons, all living in Massachusetts: Peter (Eileen) McSherry, Melrose; Mark (Leiko) McSherry, West Falmouth; Andrew (Cheryl) McSherry, Needham; and John (Maura) McSherry, Newton. She was the loving “Grammie” of eleven grandchildren: Benjamin, Gabriel, and Miranda; Samuel and Sarah; Zachary, Miyako, and Leanna; and Brett, Ryann, and Sophie. Joanne is also survived by her brother Dr. Gordon Webster, sister-in-law Joan, and nieces Alison Webster and Linda Webster.
A special service in memory of Joanne will be held on Friday, December 6 at 11am at St. Barnabas Church in Falmouth, Massachusetts. In lieu of flowers please consider a contribution to the Coastal Crisis Chaplaincy (coastalcrisischaplain.org); P.O. Box 21833 Charleston, SC 29413, Attn: Caitlin Anderson.