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Monday, April 27, 2015


SANDLIN, Sherry Ann, M.D., died May 17, 2013 at her home in Richmond, Va., of complications from the metastatic liver cancer which she had fought back for three and one-half years with steely determination. She was 59. Sherry was born in Tullahoma, Tenn., to Patrick H. and Estalee "Sherry" Sandlin. The family moved to Colorado Springs, Colo., for seven years before moving to northern Virginia in 1960. Sherry graduated from McLean High School in 1971, and spent a summer picking strawberries on a farm in Sweden, where she said it was the only time in her life that a six-foot blonde didn't raise eyebrows. She earned a bachelor of arts degree in humanities from Guilford College in Greensboro, N.C., in 1977. She worked for two years in the STD program at Petersburg Health, where she met her future husband, William Moorman Wooding of Danville, then an STD outreach worker for the Virginia Health Department. She then worked part-time as site coordinator for the Gillifield-Crater Nutrition Project, a program for the elderly, in Petersburg, Va., so she could take pre-med classes before applying to medical school. She earned a medical degree from Eastern Virginia Medical School, graduating in 1985, and did a residency in family practice at Blackstone Family Practice in Blackstone, Va. She was in private practice at Providence Forge Medical Center in rural Virginia's New Kent and Charles City counties for the following four years, and medical director for Brookside Home Health from 1991 to 1992. She worked at the Virginia Department of Health as a public health clinician and laboratory director and then as a supervisor, project director for an HIV early intervention clinic and as a moving force in the development of a district free clinic, now a community health center. From 1998 to 2003, she was in private practice at Village Green Family Medicine in Midlothian, leaving to become site director for the Amelia Health Care Center and Dinwiddie Medical Center. Sherry was at the Amelia clinic when Hurricane Isabel struck Virginia with ruthless ferocity in September 2003, but she continued working without power. She was a fellow of the American Academy of Family Practice and a diplomate of the American Board of Family Practice. Sherry battled two rounds with breast cancer, seven years apart, before getting her final diagnosis in January 2009. As she went through treatments, Will, her husband of over 30 years, was by her side. The difficult process of finding, arranging and enduring treatment made her realize the necessity for patients to be forceful advocates for their own health care. An enduring passion of Sherry's was the Greater Richmond Chorus, a division of Sweet Adelines International, which regularly won accolades and trophies in national and international competitions and in which she variously sang lead, bass and baritone over her 18 years of membership. She was with the chorus in Winston-Salem in March when they won first in the regional competition. Sherry and Will also traveled with another choral group, Tropical Harmony, giving performances in Nova Scotia and France in the last three years. Besides singing, Sherry loved travel, gardens and reading. She died with a library book in her hand. In addition to her husband, of the family home in Richmond, Sherry is survived by her mother, Sherry Sandlin formerly of Santa Fe, N.M.; sister, Sara Scott Sandlin of Albuquerque, N.M.; brother, Patrick Henry Sandlin of Fortuna, Calif.; and numerous nieces, nephews and friends, who mourn her passing and applaud her verve. Memorial donations may be made to the Greater Richmond Chorus, or a favorite charity. Funeral service is planned for 11 a.m. Saturday, June 1, at St. Paul's Episcopal Church in Richmond, with a reception afterward at the church. Arrangements are under the direction of Bennett Funeral Home.

This obituary was originally published in the Richmond Times-Dispatch.
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Published online on 5/26/2013 courtesy of Richmond Times-Dispatch.