Sheryl (Sherry) Ann DeWulf, 62, of Coon Valley, Wis., passed away peacefully on Friday, May 4, 2018, at Clarissa C. Cook Hospice House, Bettendorf, surrounded by her family and friends.
Sherry was born July 29, 1955, to Dexter Lee DeWulf and Marilyn Joyce (Lilienthal) DeWulf in Davenport. The first of four daughters, she loved to be outside and help both parents on their Cedar County farm. Sherry graduated from Durant High School (Class of 1973), and was the first of her family to attend college – an aspiration instilled in her from childhood. After receiving her B.S. from Iowa State University in 1978, she moved to the Duluth, Minn., area where she would continue to live and work for the next 39 years.
Sherry was a woman of many talents and interests. A Master Gardener, she cultivated beauty wherever she was. Northern Minnesota’s short summers, lack of Iowa-grade topsoil and natural predators were no match for her patience, ingenuity and hard work. One of her prized possessions – a Christmas cactus previously owned by her grandmother Laura DeWulf – is indicative of her love of plants. As a teenager, Sherry was active in Iowa 4-H. Her acumen in textiles earned her many blue and purple ribbons, and later those skills were used to design and sew the wedding dress of her sister Donna. Sherry’s considerable organizational aptitudes served her well in her business manager position at Northland Consulting Engineers, and also as president of Junior League in Duluth. In 2017, she received the Junior League of Duluth Sustainer of the Year Award.
A gracious person full of life and positive energy, Sherry met George Nehls, who was to become her loving and caring husband, in 2006. The couple made their home in Esko, Minn., until 2016, when they relocated to their hilltop acreage in Coon Valley. Sherry and George’s shared affinity for cats, dogs and classical music filled their joyful days together.
Throughout her life, Sherry often traveled back to her home state for family gatherings. George said that she was happiest when interacting with her extensive extended network of siblings and cousins in eastern Iowa. Her last days were a testimonial to this. Suffering from a decade-long battle with cancer, she chose to travel to an area hospice near her father’s Davenport home so family and friends could say goodbye in person.
Sherry’s life is carried on by her husband, George Nehls; father Dexter DeWulf; sister Karol Kay (Don) Nickell, niece Lauren Nickell and nephew Alexander Nickell; sister LuRae DeWulf, nieces Kylie and M’lyn Crawford; brother-in-law Tim (Donna) Wenthe; and aunts and uncle, cousins and friends.
She was preceded in death by her mother Marilyn DeWulf and sister Donna Wenthe.
The family asks that memorials be sent to one of Sherry’s favorite non-profits: Junior League of Duluth, Iowa 4-H Foundation, Corporation for Public Broadcasting, Minnesota Public Radio, Duluth Public Schools Endowment Fund or Knutson Memorial Library.
A Celebration of Life for Sherry will be announced at a later date.