Sherri Anne Stewart
Sherri Anne (Berdanier) Stewart, 64, of Ontario went to her eternal home on Thursday, March 16, 2023. She composed a symphony in this life full of faith, family and friendship. She finished her journey gracefully in the face of a 17-month battle with brain cancer.
Sherri was born to F. Nace and Doris A. (Baird) Berdanier in Newport, RI, on February 13, 1959. Sherri wed her husband of 42 years, William (Bill) Stewart, on August 24, 1980. Together they raised three amazing sons: David (Cameron) of Tacoma, WA; James (Melodee) of Plainfield, IL; Kevin (Erica) of Fairborn, OH.
Growing up in Shelby, she graduated with the class of 1977 from Shelby Senior High School. Music was always her passion from early age, and she gave God all the glory for the gift He gave her. She began taking piano lessons while in grade school and took up organ as well as a teenager. While still in high school, she had her first organist positions at First Christian Church and her home church, First Lutheran Church.
Sherri attended The University of Akron where she earned her Bachelor of Music in Music Education in 1982. Throughout her life, she taught music privately while also serving in churches and military chapels across the country and in Germany. Her musical talents were diverse: pianist, organist, flautist, choir director, and teacher. She impacted many children’s lives with her gifts, and not just musically, taking on many students others deemed too difficult to teach.
Her love of children was also apparent in her everyday life with her kids. She was the epitome of the soccer mom. She was a mother figure not only to her own children, but all of their friends. No matter what country, state, house, apartment or school, she was present and involved. She hosted after prom dinners, team get togethers, Risk and Monopoly benders. She always knew the details and made sure everyone felt welcome and seen for who they were.
After returning to the Shelby area in 2004, she served in music positions at multiple area churches, most recently at her home church, Crossroads. She also continued to teach piano privately. Sherri also pursued a long-delayed interest in accounting at North Central State College. This degree allowed her opportunity to serve in financial assistant positions at Ontario Free Methodist Church and Richland Pregnancy Services.
Sherri always had a passion for teaching and serving children. She was blessed to join Crossroads missions teams to Cambodia in 2015-2017. Through these missions she was able to serve the families at orphanage homes sponsored by Crossroads in partnership with Asia’s Hope and met “her” sponsored children. Her heart for missions was also evident in her service to the Crossroads Annual Christmas for Kids. Here she applied her new-found interest in Cricut craft, joining the team making custom gift tags for over 1000 children annually.
Always busy with a new creative endeavor in her free time, Cricut added yet another tool for her handiworks. Sherri exceled in almost anything creative including quilting, crocheting, and cake decorating. She could often be found mapping out her next custom quilt for a family member or baby gift. Her family’s homes will always be filled with afghans that she lovingly crocheted for them.
In addition to her husband and sons, Sherri is survived by grandchildren: Nace, Aribella, and Weston Stewart; brothers Barry (Pam) Berdanier of Lafayette, CO, Bruce (Melinda) Berdanier of Ontario, and Brian (Marianne) Berdanier of Spring Lake, MI; sister-in-law Shari (Paul) Alfrey of Shelby; “adopted” foreign exchange sister: Gundi Osswald of Stuttgart, Germany; and numerous nephews, nieces, aunts and friends.
Sherri’s family would like to express their heartfelt thanks for the compassionate care provided by her care teams at Avita Health System, OSU’s The James Cancer Center and CenterWell Home Health. Amber, Julie, Kristen, Megan, Nicole and Sarah … you really touched Sherri’s heart. We also appreciate the Crossroads Church and Oakstone neighborhood family who provided steady physical and emotional support to Sherri throughout her journey.
Family and friends are welcome on Tuesday, March 21, 2023 from 4-7 pm at the Penwell Turner Funeral Home, 168 West Main Street, Shelby. Funeral services will be on Wednesday, March 22, 2023 at 11 am at Crossroads Church- Ontario Campus, 636 Lexington Springmill Road South, Mansfield, Ohio 44906. Guests are also welcome to visit one hour prior to the funeral at the church from 10-11 am. Pastor Dave Vance will officiate the services with burial following in Oakland Cemetery, Shelby.
In lieu of flowers, the family would ask you to consider a donation to a charity dear to Sherri’s heart and calling: Asia’s Hope, 296 W Fourth Ave., Columbus, OH 43201; Richland Pregnancy Services,1560 W Fourth St., Mansfield, OH 44906; or The Ohio State University Neuro-Oncology Novel Therapies and Research Fund via their website, www.giveto.osu.edu, Fund Number: 314420.
For those unable to attend, condolences may be left on Sherri’s obituary on the funeral home’s website, www.PenwellTurner.com, or their Facebook page, www.Facebook.com/PenwellFuneral.
To view Sherri’s tribute video, click the link provided: https://www.tributeslides.com/tributes/show/5JSY3YL4B66G7ZJ5