Sherry was born June 18, 1938, in Los Angeles, California. She was raised by her mother Mary Thayer Powell and her stepfather Crawford Powell. Due to her stepfather’s lifelong career in the U.S. Air Force the family traveled the United States extensively. They lived in Anchorage, Alaska, and while stationed at Elmendorf Air Force Base, Alaska was still a territory. This became Sherry’s favorite place to live.
She graduated from Wheatland Union High School in Wheatland, California, in 1956. Her parents were to be transferred to Lake Charles, Louisiana, and she returned to Cody to be near her mother’s family.
Sherry went to work for Husky Oil in July 1956. She married Merlyn Ballinger in 1958, and they had two daughters, Terri Lee and Brenda Mary. The couple later divorced. She married Ray Nelson Sept. 28, 1983, which expanded her family with four grown stepchildren. Sherry had worked for Dick Jones Trucking, LL Smith Trucking, and retired from Weatherford Oilfield Service Co in 1997.
She and Ray loved spending time at Buffalo Bill Reservoir, boating and fishing. They also traveled in their motorhome, played golf, and enjoyed their yard and garden and the beautiful roses they grew, which were her favorite.
Ray and Sherry’s home was often the site for many visits from their children and grandchildren, whom they loved dearly.
She was a member of the Union Presbyterian Church and served as a deacon and elder. She belonged to the Eagles Auxiliary and served as Wyoming state president in 2008 to 2009. She belonged to the Benevolent, Patriotic Order of Does and served as their local president.
She enjoyed painting in both acrylics and oils and shared her endeavors with family members.
She is survived by husband Ray of 38 years; daughters, Terri Ballinger-May (Wayne Kennedy) and Brenda Mary Ballinger (Duane Teachout); stepdaughter Colleen Sandman; stepsons, Jeff Nelson (Dianne), Scott Nelson (Kelley) and Doug Nelson (Jennifer); grandsons Brandt Edwin Ballinger-May, Taylor Jacob Ballinger May, Justin Howard Whitlock, Spencer William Whitlock, Patrick Sandman (Molly), Bryan Nelson, Cody Nelson, Jacob Nelson; granddaughters Danielle Sandman, Aniko Nelson and Cassandra Nelson; great-grandson Theo Sandman; sister-in-law Leatha Hansen (Ron); and nephews, Kent and Kurt Hansen (Shannon).
In lieu of flowers. Sherry’s family would appreciate memorials to the Caring For Powell Animals, PO Box 504, Powell, WY 82435.
Cremation has taken place and a memorial service will be held on Monday, March 22, 2021, at 11 a.m., at the Union Presbyterian Church. The service will be streamed live on the Presbyterian Church Powell Wyoming Facebook page.