Wednesday, February 29, 2012

More photos!

Bob found this photo of Jerry when he played baseball as a youngster

1940 Sacred Heart CYO Champs

Helen sent along this photo of Jerry taken at the Brouillard Christmas gathering Dec 11, 2012


Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Jerry and Marine cutting the cake at the 2010 Birthday Dinner

Steve Cileli sent this photo of the youngest MARINE and the Oldest MARINE cutting the cake. The photo was taken at the 2010 Birthday Dinner

In a strange twist, that MARINE folded the flag at the Funeral for Jerry on Saturday.  Dan Cunningham is the other MARINE at the left of Jerry in the photo.

He was not told until after the Funeral.  Jerry had a large circle of people he knew.  It continues to amaze me how over and over again Jerry knew a great many of us.  It appears that there is only about one degree of separation among us...  He and Jones are smiling down on all of us.  Rita is in the background, waiting on them patiently, at the dinner table.

And On The Seventh Day When GOD Rested,
We Overran His Perimeter And Stole The Globe,
We Stole The Eagle From The Air Force,
The Anchor From The Navy,
The Rope From The Army,
And Have Been Protecting Our Shores Ever Since.
                  UNKNOWN MARINE

Jerry's favorite cap

Jerry treasured this cap and wore it all the time

IwoJima_a new hat for Jerry's collection

This picture was taken the day he received it before he had even put it on.

It had been worn and washed a few time before appearing here:

Funeral home 1

Watch for film on the "Ghost Army"

The Boston Globe West ran an article on the "Ghost Army" and this line in particular caught my eye:
The elder McGlynn did not divulge any details of his service with the 3132d Signal Service Company until he read the information had been declassified. As a result, his wife and six children only learned of his role in the Ghost Army’s sonic deception unit four years ago.

“Those were my orders," recalled McGlynn, a retired staff sergeant who will turn 90 on Sunday, “and I followed them."
This sounds so much like Jerry and others of his generation!

Next week, Beyer will host a two-day event in Lexington to promote his independent documentary, “Artists of Deception: The Ghost Army of World War II," and an accompanying book of the same name coauthored with Elizabeth Sayles of Valley Cottage, N.Y. The event will be held at the Lexington Depot. 
“Not only were these men brave enough to be operating right near the front lines with inflatable tanks, but they were creating this amazing art while they did it," said Beyer, a lifelong history enthusiast and writer who has made films for the History Channel, National Geographic Channel, and the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History. 
“The Army was using creativity to save lives, but the men were exercising their own creativity in this awful environment."

This is quite the story, click through to the Boston Globe to read the full article.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Funeral Home

For those who were unable to make it to the services for Jerry, here are some photos of the funeral home setup.

Funeral home 3

Funeral home 2

Funeral home 4

Funeral home 1

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Mike Sherlock remembers the lesson from Dad

Mike Sherlock delivered these remarks at the service for Jerry on Saturday morning. Speaking for his brothers and sisters, he said very well what we all thought.

Today, as part of our services, there are salutes to Jerry Sherlock's years of military service during the
Second World War. It's to honor a young man who was presented with extraordinary challenges and
met them, head on.

I'd like to take a few minutes to reflect on something equally significant: He showed us the power in the
grace and dignity in the ordinary life he returned to.

Jerry didn't talk a lot about Christian values -- he lived them, and we watched him.

As a father, he gave us his time and his attention. Endless sporting events, long distance college move-in
trips, parent's committees -- there were six of us, and all very active. But you name it, and he was there.
No discussion; I'm pretty sure he never thought much about it. He said he'd be there, and he always
was. It's just what he did.

We grew up watching him being a friend; going out of his way to make his bachelor neighbor and coworker Bob feel like part of our family. After many years, Bob grew terminally ill, and my father was by
his side at every step - visiting him, driving him to appointments, managing his expenses. By the end, I'd
say Jerry was Bob's family. He never really talked about it to us. I just grew up thinking this is what a
man does.

Once, when I was young, we were out driving and stopped by a broken down car at the side of the road.
My father told the guy he'd help, and he did: we drove the guy to an auto parts store, waited for him,
and drove him back to his car. My father never said a word to me about it, you know; it was just an
ordinary day to him.

Jerry fought against the Japanese in the War. In the early Seventies, a Japanese family moved in
upstairs. My parents welcomed them into our house, and the little kids became Patti’s playmates. I was
around when someone asked him if living so close to Japanese people made him uncomfortable. He said
no, they’re just people. The Japanese soldiers didn’t want to be in the war any more than the Americans
did. And that was pretty much all he said about it. He kept that friendship going for many years; long
after the family had moved back to Japan.

When Jerry married Rita, he made a vow that included "in sickness and in health", and "till death do us
part". For 34 years, his love and respect for her were unwavering. When she was stricken with cancer,
we watched him at my mother's side until the very last second. And we know he meant every word of
his vow. He didn't talk about the vow to us, he simply kept it.

So on behalf of my brothers and sisters, I'd like to thank him for this gift he left. And of course, he never
talked about it, but he taught us this anyway:

Ordinary days --

  lived in devotion to others,

  with loyalty and respect, and

  with promises kept --

  these ordinary days will accumulate over a lifetime

  and become something quite extraordinary.

     And for that lesson, I'll be forever grateful.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Jerry through the years - a sampler

Jerry as a youngster

Papa young

Jerry in the Marines

papa- soldier

Jerry in the 1960's

sixty's dad

Jerry at work (70-80's?)

dad work

Jerry for a recent Marine Corp Anniversary dinner


Friday, February 24, 2012

Why Honor Flight?

Why Honor Flight?

We lost both Jerry and Rita to cancer so there was consideration for the American Cancer Society. The network of connections that this organization can draw upon is extensive. So respectfully, we chose Honor Flight. A younger organization with a valuable mission.

The trip to Washington, DC that the boys were able to take with Dad in Dec of 2007 was the deciding factor. Jerry talked of that trip frequently with pride. The memorials are grand expanses. The people you meet amazing.

Jerry, Bob, Steve, and Mike Sherlock

In the US Marine Museum in Quantico, there is a display that simulates the landing craft approaching a Pacific island. Standing next to Dad with my brothers and nephew near by was priceless. We all ducked more than once it was so real. We were worried how real it was and would it bring up the past he had spent so long not talking about.

In true Sherlock fashion, Jerry did not seem to be bothered by this. He was able to sleep long and deep.

So while we were able to bring Dad to DC for this trip, other veterans are not so fortunate. Making a contribution to Honor Flight will enable those veterans to make the trip.
Honor Flight Network is a non-profit organization created solely to honor America's veterans for all their sacrifices. We transport our heroes to Washington, D.C. to visit and reflect at their memorials. Top priority is given to the senior veterans – World War II survivors, along with those other veterans who may be terminally ill. 
Of all of the wars in recent memory, it was World War II that truly threatened our very existence as a nation—and as a culturally diverse, free society. Now, with over one thousand World War II veterans dying each day, our time to express our thanks to these brave men and women is running out.

Additional photos from our trip to DC can be viewed here

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Jerry and his grandchildren - a sample

Jerry with Allison back in the day


Jerry with Carolyn back in the day


Jerry with a bunch of the little ones at the time


Jerry with his grandchildren no longer "little ones"

Sherlock Christmas

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Gerald (Jerry) Sherlock

Sherlock, Gerald F. 86, passed away Sunday, February 19 after fighting the good fight against his illnesses. He was the husband of the late Rita C. (Joyal) Sherlock who passed away in November 1983.

Jerry was born and lived most of his life in Pawtucket. He graduated from St. Raphael Academy in 1943, joined the US Marines, and served in the Pacific Theater of WW II where he fought in the battles of Saipan, Tinian and Iwo Jima.

He was a cost accountant working for many years at Washburn Wire Co, then Golden Eye Seafood and the Ronci Company before retiring. He was active in the parents’ associations for St Joseph’s School and St Raphael Academy. He also served one year as the RI State Chairman of the United Way and in leadership positions with the United Steelworkers and AFL-CIO. A long-time communicant of St. Joseph Parish (Pawtucket) he served some time as Parish Council President.

He leaves six children: Stephen Sherlock of Franklin, MA; Robert Sherlock of Barrington, IL; Michael Sherlock of Westmont, NJ; Eileen Harriman of Saco, ME; Joan Sherlock Moody of Cranston and Patricia Palardy of Smithfield; 13 grandchildren; a brother, Henry Sherlock of Providence and three sisters, Martina Higgins of Bristol, Angela Brousseau of South Kingston, and Helene Mainor of North Kingston. Pre-deceased by siblings Frances Campbell, Jack, Edward, and Paul Sherlock

Funeral Saturday at 8:00 AM from the ANDERSON-WINFIELD Funeral Home, Route 44 at Greenville Common, Greenville. Mass of Christian Burial at 9:00 AM in St Michael’s Church, 80 Farnum Pike, Smithfield. Burial with military honors in Notre Dame Cemetery, Pawtucket.

Donations in memory of Gerald can be made to Honor Flight at Honor Flight works to transport America's veterans to Washington, D.C. to visit those memorials dedicated to honor their service and sacrifices For directions and condolences visit

The "Greatest Generation" of Sherlock's

Jerry and his family including the 'out-laws' from sometime in mid-late 1980's


From left to right: Henry, Jack, Leora, Jerry, Fran, Martina, Mary, Angela, Lou, Anne, Jack. In front, left to right: Paul, Ted, Helene

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

There will be photos

Jerry's Story will continue. His memory is alive and well for us. As we prepare for the official services Friday and Saturday, we have begun to go through the archive of family photos. Going through the photos had been a project planned for review and discussion here. Dad was supposed to help us make sense of who was in the photos what was going on. Some were going to be easier than others. All were going to have a story.

So just because Dad has left us, doesn't mean this will end. There are still pictures, there are still stories to be shared.

At the Brouillard Brunch on Sunday, I mentioned the idea of having a picture party. Family can gather round a table of photos and we can all help to identify who, what, when, where and add the markings, tell the stories that are revealed by those photos.

Jerry and I in Slater Park in Pawtucket. Likely a Sunday afternoon in the fall of 1954 or 55.


If you have photos and or a story to share, send it along.

Monday, February 20, 2012

At peace

Jerry is now at peace.

He left us quietly. Sunday evening, Feb 19th. How fitting that it was 67 years to the day!

He always said that "The real heroes did not come home!"

Bob, Steve, Jerry, Mike, and Mark Sherlock

Sherlock Christmas

Sherlock Christmas

Note: as the arrangements are finalized for the wake and funeral there will be updates.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Iwo Jima

19 Feb 1945. Iwo Jima 0859

Along a front of volcanic ash beach, elements of the 3rd Marine Division, 4th Marine Division and 5th Marine Division forced Iwo Jima. It would turn out to be a turning point of the War. The plan was that the island would be taken in 10 days. It was not to be. 36 days later it was over.

The combat would be considered to be one of the most horrific in the Pacific Campaign.

I was able to speak with Jerry and Pat Femino and learned much in a short time. Jerry with the 4th MARDIV and Pat with the 5th Mardiv assault landed there and fought on that barren piece of real estate.
Much has been written and I would never do that epic event justice.

I would ask that you take a moment to think of all those who paid the ultimate sacrifice. They were cut down fighting for this country and our liberty.

Unlike Jerry and Pat they were unable to raise families and lead productive lives. They made the difference in time for all of us.

A simple prayer that is dear to many of us in the profession of arms. In the darkest of times it may help to show you the way to the light. I don't expect everyone to understand. But here it is.

23rd Psalm
"The Lord is my Shepherd; I shall not want. He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: He leadeth me beside the still waters. He restoreth my soul: He leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for His name' sake. 
Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: For thou art with me; Thy rod and thy staff, they comfort me. Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies; Thou annointest my head with oil; My cup runneth over. 
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the House of the Lord forever."
We remember those Marines from that battle today. Most of all the ones we still have, but for only a moment. As the sun fades in the sky each day, so does the passing of those who survived.

Please keep the Sherlock family in your prayers.

Looking back

67 years ago, Jerry landed on the black sands beach at Iwo Jima and 36 days later was lucky to walk off. As the oldest of his six children, I have long felt that this Sherlock 'luck" has played a great deal in the cards of life. We have all been so fortunate. Jerry and Rita were a special couple. Rita left us a while ago. It seems like Jerry will be re-united with her soon.

Coincidence? Garnet Rogers "Seeds of Hope" is playing as I struggle to write this

Take my hand and we will walk together
Take my hand you will not walk alone
Take my hand, this night won't last forever
We'll harvest seeds of hope we've sown

Jerry barely opened his eyes when I visited on Saturday. I held his hand and felt his grip tighten. His spirit is strong. The will that helped him through WW II and then raising us all is still there.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Color video - Iwo Jima

One of Frank's connections found this color video of Iwo Jima taken in 1945.

Sunday (Feb 19th) marks the anniversary of the assault on Iwo Jima. 67 years ago Jerry charged ashore in the attack and luckily walked off the island in March.

Jerry is still charging against his illness today with a spirit that doesn't know how to quit.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Afternoon Reads with Jerry

Jerry's appetite for reading is legendary.  I have taken to reading the paper to him on my visits.  Lately though we've been reading books in the afternoon.  The first book was by Anthony Pesare retired State Trooper and Chief of Middletown Police.  "THEY ALWAYS WIN."

A fictionalized account of MOB events in  Providence in the late 1970's and 1980's.  I was able to put some insight into some of the events having been involved in some aspects.  It was an interesting read and Jerry provides anecdotes of some places that the MOB used as a dumping ground while taking out the garbage as it were.

The latest read is by Arlene Violet and was written with Crime Fighter John Partington.  John was a Cumberland Policeman. Then became a United States Marshal. Several years went by and JP became the US Marshal in Rhode Island.  He then became the Chief of the Cumberland Police and was brought to Providence by Joe Paolino after the Peter Gilbert scandal in the Providence Police Department.

John was the Commisioner of Public Safety in Providence and we had a great relationship.

This book titled "THE MOB AND ME." was published after his death.  John is credited with forming the Witness Protection Program.  His partner in those ventures was legendary Deputy US Marshal Coyle Meserve.  Steve Meserve's father.    There is only about one degree of separation in Rhode Island.  Wait I am not done.

So yesterday I was  reading for some time when out of the corner of my eye I noticed a gentleman standing in the doorway.  I looked up and he looked vaguely familiar. " Hey your reading about my favorite person!"  I was stunned and I shouted yes I am reading about JP!.  Hello Mr. Partington!  It was Bill Partngton.  Retired Rhode Island State Trooper. John's brother.   Bill's wife is in the room next to Jerry.

"I heard you talking about Barboza and Raymond Patriarca. I had to come over and see what it was all about."  I introduced myself and he remembered me. My hair was longer and I looked alot scruffier back in the 1990's while on assignments.   He immediately remembered my grandfather.  I introduced him to Jerry and they exchanged pleasantries. 

Well just goes to show you never know who will show up around Jerry!

Pat Femino has been checking in weekly on Jerry.  Pat is heading with his son to the Marine Corps Museum at Quantico.  Pat was with the 5thMARDIV at Iwo Jima and was present for 37 days on Iwo.  He is looking forward to it and will be there for the Iwo Jima Anniversary.  He will be back on Monday following and intends to see Jerry.  With a full after action report.

While discussing this with Jerry and  he chimed in.  " Oh yeah I can't forget that date!"  Here it comes the Sherlock Grin....  " That is my sister Fran's birthday."

The bended knee is not a tradition of our Corps.
General Alexander A. Vandergrift, USMC
to the Senate Naval Affairs Committee, 5 May 1946

Monday, February 6, 2012


Bob and Mike came in for a couple of days to visit with Jerry. We had an impromptu party Friday night with Jerry. He had fish and chips which he likes and got to pose with a few of his grandchildren:

Jerry poses with a few grandchildren