Nancy G. Sherman MONTPELIER — Nancy Grabill Sherman, 74, died unexpectedly but peacefully on Dec. 23, 2018, at Central Vermont Medical Center, Berlin. Nancy requested this short and characteristically modest obituary: “lived, loved, laughed, built family, 50 years of happy marriage, no regrets, checked out when it was done.” We tried stopping with this, but thought that there is more to say. Nancy was born Feb. 12, 1944, in Cleveland, Ohio, the second of three children born to Franklin J. and Virginia (Free) Grabill, of Bainbridge, Ohio. The family moved a few times following Frank’s service in the U.S. Navy during World War II before settling in Washington, D.C., where Nancy attended Sidwell Friends School. She received her BA degree in Social Sciences from the University of Chicago (1967), MA in Education from Roosevelt University, Chicago (1971) and MBA from the University of Chicago (1975). She met and married Michael Sherman in Chicago in 1968. Nancy had a varied and rich professional career. She worked at the Field Museum of Natural History and as an elementary school teacher in public schools and at the Harvard-St. George School in Chicago. After moving with Michael to Appleton, Wisconsin, where their sons, Adam and Roger, were born, Nancy worked as a systems analyst at Thilmany Pulp and Paper and Kimberly-Clark Corp. When the family moved to Madison, Wisconsin, in 1978, Nancy worked as lead management analyst at Madison Gas and Electric Co. The family moved again in 1986 and settled in Montpelier, where Nancy worked at National Life, U-32, the Legislative Council, for Robert Spring & Associates, and as a contract writer for the Vermont Court Administrator’s Office, before taking longer-term positions as policy and program analyst with the Vermont Department of Public Service, director of volunteers at Central Vermont Adult Basic Education, and at Central Vermont Council on Aging, where she was program director for 10 years of Neighbor to Neighbor AmeriCorps. Her final employment was for the Vermont Campaign for the Health Care Security Fund, where she was a navigator for the newly established Vermont Health Connect following passage of the Affordable Care Act. In 1997-98, Nancy participated in the Vermont Leadership Institute of the Snelling Center for Government at UVM. Throughout her life, Nancy was committed to public service and helping individuals both through and outside of institutions. She was elected to the Montpelier City Council in 2000, served six terms, and was the council’s representative to the Transportation Advisory Committee, Green Mountain Transit Board and Central Vermont Solid Waste District. She led the Taylor Street Bridge Study Committee, served on Council-sponsored study groups on planning guidelines for developing Sabin’s Pasture and studying barriers to housing in Montpelier, chaired the Montpelier Charter Revision Committee in 2012, assisted with the start up of the senior meals program at the Montpelier Senior Activity Center, and was for several years, a justice of the peace, where her favorite duty was performing marriages (handmade certificates of witness included). She volunteered as a “greeter” for the AARP tax preparation service, washed dishes at the Unitarian Church of Montpelier community lunch, covered new books at the Kellogg-Hubbard Library, read with students at Union Elementary School, and participated in activities and several committees at the Unitarian Church of Montpelier. Nancy convinced her family to open their home to actors and crew of Lost Nation Theater and to many individuals in need of temporary (and sometimes not-so-temporary) shelter and kindness, and spent many hours visiting friends and acquaintances who were unable to get out and about on their own. Always kind, generous, patient and optimistic, she found many other ways to act on her care for human needs, dignity and rights. Above all, Nancy was a devoted and loving wife, mother and mother-in-law, sister and sister-in-law, daughter and daughter-in-law, aunt and friend. She was predeceased by her brother, David; and is survived by her husband, Michael; their sons Adam and wife Joëlle Baird, of Grand Canyon, Arizona, and Roger, of Chicago, Illinois; sister, Margaret Susan “Susy” Hanson and husband John, of Jefferson, Maryland; and a host of nieces, nephews, grandnieces and -nephews, in-laws and cousins scattered throughout the county. Those who wish to honor Nancy may make a contribution in her memory to the organization of their choice that provides care and services to people in need or otherwise makes our world a better place to live in and thrive. A memorial service is being planned at the Unitarian Church of Montpelier in the spring.

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I was shocked and very saddened to learn of Nancy’s death. A wonderfully kind and generous person she has been a major contributor to our community for many years and her absence will have an immediate impact. My deepest condolences to Michael and his family.


I am very sorry to hear of Nancy's passing. I first met her when she came to work for the Public Service Department. She was a caring and generous woman and I will miss seeing her about town.

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