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Pastor's life guided by compassion for all

Patrick Varine
| Thursday, Sept. 21, 2017, 11:00 p.m.

If you wanted to take a minute to talk, Don Sherrill was ready to listen.

“He was very, very loving and compassionate,” said his son, Philip Sherrill of Murrysville.

Donald T. Sherrill of Murrysville died Friday, Sept. 15, 2017, following complications related to heart, kidney and liver issues. He was 88.

Mr. Sherrill was born on Feb. 2, 1929.

He earned a geology degree from the University of Pittsburgh and in 1973 earned a master's degree in divinity from the Pittsburgh Theological Seminary.

Shortly after graduating from the seminary, Mr. Sherrill became the pastor at Oakmont Presbyterian Church, where he remained for more than two decades before retiring in the early 1990s.

Steve Wilson, senior pastor at the church, has known Mr. Sherrill since 1988.

“We became friends right from the start,” Wilson said. “Don was a perceptive administrator. He was able to see the core of an issue quickly and have a sense of what type of response was needed.”

Wilson said those traits likely came in part from Mr. Sherrill's diverse career. Over the years, he worked for the Chicago Tribune, WGN-TV and Peoples Gas, and also served in the Coast Guard.

In his free time, Mr. Sherrill enjoyed gardening, his son said.

“Particularly in his latter years, he spent a lot of time on herb gardening. He had a bunch of little pots all over,” Philip Sherrill said.

Mr. Sherrill was musically talented, playing the clarinet and saxophone.

“He and a friend had a band in college, Don Sherrill & His Orchestra,” Philip Sherrill said. “They made money going through college that way. Then after his work career was over, he got involved with the Scottdale Concert Band and a couple others.”

Wilson said many parishioners at Oakmont Presbyterian will remember Mr. Sherrill fondly.

“Don was a man of strong faith, an interest in others and a very bright guy,” Wilson said.

Mr. Sherrill was preceded in death by his wife, Barbara M. Sherrill, and two children, Wendy and Jeffrey Sherrill.

He is survived by his son, Philip Sherrill and his wife, Jamie; a daughter, Lynn Janosik; four grandchildren; four great-grandchildren; and his companion, Lois Meadowcroft.

A memorial service will be at 11 a.m. Saturday at Oakmont Presbyterian Church, 415 Pennsylvania Ave., Oakmont.

Funeral arrangements are being handled by the English Funeral Home and Cremation Services Inc.

Patrick Varine is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at 724-850-2862, or via Twitter @MurrysvilleStar.

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