By Neil Schulman
Long Branch — Mayor John Pallone has known “Ms.” (Sue) Sherrill for a long time. “Ms. Sherrilll was my first grade elementary school art teacher, and I understand she was (Councilwoman Rose) Widdis’ too,” Pallone said at the April 14 City Council meeting.
Their former teacher had celebrated her 100th birthday the day before, and Pallone recognized her importance to the people of Long Branch with an official proclamation. The meeting was held remotely due to the coronavirus restrictions, but she attended via Zoom.
She was much more than just a school teacher, Pallone noted.
Born in Philadelphia in 1921, Ms. Sherrill served in World War II in the Woman’s Army Corps, as an x-ray technician. Her artistic abilities were recognized by the Army, and she helped to illustrate a text book on x-ray operations while enlisted.
After the war, with the help of the GI bill, she got a bachelor’s degree and would go on to earn a master’s at Rutgers.
She began teaching in West Long Branch, but was recruited to the city in 1959.
“She was approached personally by the Long Branch superintendent of schools,” Pallone said.
Though she retired in 1968, she remains active in the arts community. Pallone noted that he’s seen her and her artwork. “Up until a few years ago, maybe you still do, I would see you at the art shows.” She’s also involved in many community organizations.
The former teacher said she had a long history with the area. “I’ve lived in Long Branch for almost 70 years and it’s a wonderful city to live in,” she said. Her son, Steve, was one year ahead in school of Mayor Pallone’s brother, Congressman Frank Pallone.
“I think that you and council are doing an amazing job,” she said.