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Martha Sinclair Weeks Sherrill

June 26, 1922 July 27, 2016
Martha Sinclair Weeks Sherrill
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Obituary for Martha Sinclair Weeks Sherrill

Martha Sinclair Weeks Sherrill, educator and consultant, died July 27, 2016 in Providence Rhode Island at the age of 94 years.

Born June 26 1922, Mrs. Sherrill was the daughter of the Hon. Sinclair Weeks and Beatrice Dowse Weeks of W. Newton MA. Mr. Weeks served as Mayor of Newton, Senator from Massachusetts and Secretary of Commerce in the Eisenhower Administration. His father, the Hon. John Wingate Weeks, founder of Hornblower & Weeks, also served as Congressman and Senator from Massachusetts, as well as Secretary of War in the Harding & Coolidge administrations. He was sponsor of the Weeks Act of 1911 that enabled the eastern National Forests, including the White Mountain National Forest in his native state. Beatrice D. Weeks was the granddaughter of Henry G. Reed, co-founder of Reed & Barton Silversmiths.

Mrs. Sherrill was educated at The Westover School and graduated from The Winsor School in Boston MA. She married Rev. Henry Williams Sherrill in 1946, son of the Rt. Rev. Henry Knox Sherrill, Presiding Bishop of the Protestant Episcopal Church (1946 - 1958) and Barbara Harris Sherrill. They lived in Grosse Pointe Michigan and Cincinnati Ohio where her husband served as a clergyman and diocesan administrator. In 1969 she earned a BS with honors in education from the University of Cincinnati and began her career as an educator.

After returning to Boston in 1969, Mrs. Sherrill trained as a reading disabilities tutor in the Orton-Gillingham method at the Massachusetts General Hospital. She enriched her skills with additional courses related to learning impairment and assessment at Lesley College, Boston University, St. Joseph's College (Hartford CT), the University of Santa Clara (CA), the University of Washington, UC Berkeley and Plymouth State University (NH). During this period in which specific language disabilities were just becoming more widely understood, she worked for 20 years in public schools in Massachusetts and New Hampshire to help struggling elementary and secondary students read and begin to realize their potential as learners.

In particular, Mrs. Sherrill devoted herself to using the Slingerland adaptation of the Orton-Gillingham method in order to bring the technique into broader classroom application in Northern New Hampshire. During this period she also began to work with her husband as a consultant through the Cheswick Center. The Cheswick Center was founded by her husband and a group of colleagues to assist non-profit organizations develop more effective governance strategies through trustee training and development. Serving as a director of the Cheswick Center from 1974 until 2001, she consulted with schools and educational organizations across the United States. She also served as consultant to The Good Samaritan Foundation (Wilmington Del) on its grants to educational projects serving students with language-based learning disabilities.

Mrs. Sherrill is survived by two daughters: Rebecca W. S. More of Providence RI and Barbara S. Gronseth of Issaquah WA; seven grandchildren and five great-grandchildren; two brothers, Sinclair Weeks Jr. of Concord MA and William D. Weeks of Cohasset MA, and a sister, Beatrice W. Bast of Ft. Washington PA. Burial will be private. Contributions in her memory may be sent to Weeks Medical Center, Middle St., Lancaster NH 03584.

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