Richard Dana Sherman Sr.


Richard Dana Sherman Sr. of Falmouth died on Jan. 24, 2024, at the age of 100. 

Mr. Sherman was born on Oct. 7, 1923, in Providence, R.I. He was the son of Clarence Edgar and Inez Copeland Sherman, and the youngest of four siblings. He was raised in Providence and spent summers in East Chop, on Martha’s Vineyard. His family originally summered in the Methodist Campground until the family house was moved to East Chop, where it stands today. 

Mr. Sherman attended the Moses Brown School in Providence. Following graduation from Moses Brown, he enlisted in the U.S. Navy in 1943, and served on a tank landing ship in the Pacific during World War II. He was involved in the invasions of the Philippines and Okinawa. Mr. Sherman was awarded six Battle Stars and a Presidential Unit Citation.

After the war, Mr. Sherman attended Trinity College in Hartford, from which he graduated in 1950 with a bachelor’s degree in economics. While at Trinity, he was elected president of his fraternity. 

During the Korean War, Mr. Sherman re-enlisted in the Navy, serving on a destroyer. He was honored and proud to have served his country not once, but during two wars. 

As a young man, Mr. Sherman spent several summers working at the East Chop Beach Club, and racing VH 15s for the Vineyard Haven Yacht Club. In 1948, while managing the Vineyard Haven Yacht Club, he met Joanne Fuller from Vineyard Haven. They were married in 1951, had three children, and continued to enjoy every summer on Martha’s Vineyard until Mrs. Sherman’s death in 1997. 

For 35 years, Mr. Sherman was a partner in King Gage Engineering in Natick, a business established in the early 1940s by Norman W. Fuller, Mr. Sherman’s father-in-law. Mr. Sherman went on to represent a number of industrial equipment manufacturers over the years, establishing himself as an honest, dedicated, and well-respected sales professional, retiring in 1985 at the age of 62.

Mr. Sherman was very civic-minded, as his father had been. He served on several community boards including as president of Tisbury Waterworks in Vineyard Haven, as president of his Neighborhood Association in Falmouth, and as president of the Falmouth Hospital Auxiliary, where he volunteered over the course of more than 25 years. Mr. Sherman was active in other community organizations, including the Masons. He volunteered at the Dukes County Historical Society, now the Martha’s Vineyard Museum. He was involved in the restoration of a local steamer, the Nobska. Mr. Sherman had a collection of more than 200 pictures, articles, and handmade models of various steamers serving the Cape and Islands. He was also a member of the John Wesley United Methodist Church.

Mr. Sherman is survived by his three children, Lee Sherman Wainwright of Birmingham, Mich., and Vineyard Haven, Richard Dana Sherman Jr. of McLean, Va., and Jeffrey Fuller Sherman of Marathon, Fla.. He is also survived by five grandchildren, and five great-grandchildren, as well as many nieces and nephews. 

A private family burial will take place at Oak Grove Cemetery in Vineyard Haven at a later date.