LOS ANGELES - Wilma Margaret Sherman (Lyman), 77, formerly of Montague, MA, Hollis, NH, and Goleta, CA, died Wednesday, Oct. 9, 2013, following a period of declining health.
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She is fondly remembered by family, friends and former students from all over the globe.
A California native, she was born on June 22, 1936, youngest of four, in Redlands, to Howard and Evelyn (Myers) Lyman. Raised in Montague, Massachusetts, she was educated first at Montague Center School, where during World War II she collected milkweed fluff for sailor's life jackets, then at Turners Falls High School, where she was class historian, editor of the Netop and co-editor of the 1954 yearbook, in which she was voted "Most Popular Girl" and worked in the shade-grown tobacco fields in the summers.
It was at TFHS that a teacher, Miss Teed, changed Wilma's life: she instilled a love of English, a gift that Wilma would pay back a hundredfold during her life. Wilma majored in English at Colby College in Waterville, ME, where she graduated in 1958 after a senior year in which she starred in the Senior Class Production of "South Pacific," a bright, if short, acting career that was a prelude to more lasting accomplishments as a drama teacher.
Wilma was an educator from the beginning, first in Stonington, CT, then at Weston and Concord, MA, and working for the longest period of her 40-year teaching career at Hollis /Brookline NH High School. Wilma was a dedicated and caring teacher for generations of students, both as an English teacher and as the driving force of a dramatic program that enriched the lives of many students over the years.
While teaching at Hollis/Brookline, Wilma earned a Masters Degree in Gifted Education from the University of Connecticut at Storrs and served as an educational consultant offering workshops locally and throughout the state.
In 1998, Wilma retired with her husband in Goleta, CA, where she continued to teach as a volunteer English Conversation Tutor for Graduate Students at University of California Santa Barbara, which led to a summer of English instruction at the Tongi Medical School of the Huazhang University of Science and Technology in Wuhan, PRC.
Her motto was, "You cannot teach anyone anything. You can only help them find it within themselves." Her life was a monument to this maxim.
Wilma is lovingly remembered by her children: John Sherman and James Sherman of California and Anne Manktelow of Cambridge, UK. Wilma is survived by her siblings: Frederick Lyman of Springfield, MA, and Chella Marie Lyman Boulanger of Turners Falls, MA. Additionally, she leaves four adored grandchildren, as well as several nieces, nephews, grandnieces and grandnephews.
Wilma was predeceased by her husband, David Sherman (2008), and her sister, Patricia Milano (2008).
Funeral services in celebration of her life and many gifts, will be observed on Saturday, Dec. 14, 2013, at 11 a.m. at the First Congregational Church, 43 Silver St., Greenfield, MA.
Expressions of affection in the form of charitable contributions can be made to the Braille Institute of America, Inc., 741 North Vermont Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90029.
Published in The Recorder on Nov. 28, 2013