Sharon Ann Wachholz

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MIDDLETON–Sharon Ann Wachholz died July 16, 2020. Sherry was born January 23, 1949 in Manitowoc, the first child of five to Norman and Dorothy Dirkman Wachholz. Sherry had a long challenge with depression and more lately Parkinson’s. Sherry is survived by her husband, Robert Chapman and his daughters, Amber Andrianokos (husband Jim), Kathleen Espich, (husband Sam) and granddaughters Morgan, Taylor, and Shawna; mother, Dorothy Wachholz; aunts, Dolores Dirkman and Dorothy Bouril; uncle, Steve Clingan and family; sister, Pat Woytal (husband Terry and sons Wade, Jay, and Craig); brother, John Wachholz (wife Mary and daughter Amanda and son Ben); sister, Sue Westphal (husband John and daughters Kristin and Katlin); and sister, Sandra “Sam” Wachholz (partner Ron Bilansky). She is survived by many extended family and numerous close friends in Wisconsin and Englewood, FL.

Growing up in Manitowoc, Sherry graduated Valedictorian in a class of 635 students from Lincoln High School. Active in theatre she played the lead in Anne Frank and Anastasia, and sang in chorus. Sherry received a full scholarship to St. Norbert’s College. She created a major in social change and helped convince the Green Bay mayor to march against the war in Vietnam.

Sherry started her career in politics advocating for peace and justice, working on Senator George McGovern’s national presidential campaign. She spent days traveling the US staying in peoples’ homes with no financial support. She recalled fondly having to use a borrowed VW bug to pick up Mamma Cassy for a rally.

Sherry joined Governor Patrick Lucy’s young staff assuming responsibility for aid to Nicaragua. Especially important to Sherry’s years at the capital was working for Senator Carl Thompson. She worked on sexual assault legislation to protect women and legislation to remove lead paint. 

Sherry led an active life of mountain hiking, tennis, and kayaking. Rocky Mountain National Park was her favorite, along with Lake O’Hara in Yoho National Park, British Columbia. Sherry felt strongly about protecting the environment for future generations. Starting as a young child her family camped at Peninsula State Park. The family was featured in the park’s 100th Anniversary magazine.

Sherry loved music, plays, nature, and the arts. She created works of art, was a skilled photographer, and her home greeted you with uplifting colors and art. Sherry wrote a delightful children’s story “The Princess and the Oak Tree” and co-authored “Minding Our Moods.”

Her spiritual path evolved from Catholicism to the teachings of the Buddha. The path continued taking refuge in Messiah Lutheran Church, SnowFlower Sangha Madison, and Mother Nature.

She had “bright eyes” that lit up everyone with her love. She infused the world with energy. Children and adults were delighted by her fun creative activities. All were touched by her warmth and smile. Now we will look to the stars to see her “bright eyes.”

Sometimes brave, sometimes afraid, a human being, Sherry lived her life with kindness, generosity, love, and caring for others and our environment. Her wish would be for all of us to do the same. 

On July 25, 2020 at 10 a.m. her life will be celebrated at 1610 Cypress Trail, Middleton. Following COVID-19 guidelines the celebration will be outside using masks and social distance. Bring folding chairs. Cold drinks provided. In lieu of flowers, please donate to Sierra Club or Public Citizen. Please share your memories/pictures on Sherry’s Facebook. Accepting Friend Requests.

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