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Nelsen Funeral Home & Crematory - Reid Chapel

412 S. Washington Hwy., Ashland, VA

OBITUARY

William Vaughn Sherrod Jr.

July 30, 1954June 1, 2020

William V. “Bill” Sherrod Jr., 65, of Richmond, a devoted advocate for rural Virginia and the electric cooperative community, died June 1, 2020, following a courageous battle with pancreatic cancer.

Bill was born July 30, 1954 in Richmond to the late William V. Sherrod Sr. and Nancy Parker Sherrod. He grew up in Henrico County with an affection for sports and animals; his family lovingly recalls that Bill had just about every kind of reptile or feathered creature as a pet at one time or another.

He graduated from Henrico High School in 1972 and from Randolph-Macon College in 1977, and enjoyed playing football at both schools. Bill began his journalism career with a newspaper in Lewes, Delaware, and moved on to become editor of the Times-Virginian in Appomattox, before joining the Virginia, Maryland & Delaware Association of Electric Cooperatives in 1994.

A skilled writer and photographer, Bill spent nearly 26 years at the association, serving as vice president of communications and public relations, and editor of Cooperative Living, the most widely circulated magazine in Virginia.

Bill’s love for electric cooperatives and the communities they serve was boundless. It showed in the stories he wrote, the photos he took and the connections he formed with people across the mid-Atlantic, from the Cumberland Gap to the Delmarva Peninsula.

As an ambassador for the cooperative movement, he never considered himself bigger than the stories he covered, always treating cooperative members with respect and dignity, regardless of their station in life. Earlier this year, the VMD Association presented Bill with its 2020 Distinguished Service Award for the indelible mark he made on the electric cooperative community.

When presented with the award on April 23, Bill was overcome with emotion and gratitude, saying, “I’m the lucky one. It’s been great to work with you all and everyone at the co-ops.”

As editor, Sherrod took the association’s flagship magazine to new heights, reaching more than 1.2 million readers 10 times a year with compelling stories, columns and essays that celebrated and advanced the cause of electric co-ops and small-town lifestyles.

He won numerous writing awards and was a past president of the National Electric Cooperative Statewide Editors Association, which represents more than three dozen cooperative magazines across the country.

In his private time, Bill loved playing his saxophone and listening to jazz music, fishing and outdoor activities. He also enjoyed old movies and good books, particularly military histories and the novels The Right Stuff and Catch-22. An accomplished artist and musician, he was a devoted son, brother, uncle and friend. Despite the progression of cancer, Bill’s spirits remained undampened as he continued to impart his positive outlook and infectious joy for life to his family, friends and colleagues.

Strong in his faith, Bill was very active in his church, First Baptist Church in Ashland.

Bill is survived by a sister, Sandy Sherrod Nockengost and her husband Karl Nockengost of Wilmington, Delaware; a brother, Jon Sherrod and his wife Olga Bonilla Sherrod of Atlanta, Georgia; four nieces, Sarah Nockengost, Laura Nockengost, Gabriela Sherrod and Natasha Sherrod; and a very special friend and caregiver, Nancy McBee of Midlothian.

At the request of the family, a memorial service for Bill will be private. A livestream of the service will be available at 2 p.m., Saturday, June 6, at https://bit.ly/fbcafunerals. An open celebration of Bill’s life and achievements will be held at a later date.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions in Bill’s honor can be made to First Baptist Church, 800 Thompson St, Ashland, VA 23005, or to the Education Scholarship Foundation of the Virginia, Maryland & Delaware Association of Electric Cooperatives, 4201 Dominion Blvd., Glen Allen, VA 23060.

Services

  • MEMORIAL SERVICE LIVE STREAMED @ https://bit.ly/fbcafunerals

    Saturday, June 6, 2020

Memories

William Vaughn Sherrod Jr.

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Lynn Maloney

June 11, 2020

There was no finer gentleman than Bill. He was truly one of the kindest, most caring individuals I've ever had the privilege to know.

I've been with ODEC for over 30 years so knew Bill his entire career at the Association. And we grew up in the same neighborhood, Chamberlayne Farms. I was in school from first grade on with his brother Jon.

It always brightened my day when I ran into Bill at work or at the Y. He had such a warm, calming smile and eyes that twinkled when you spoke. He always asked about me and my family. His actions and words were always 100% sincere.

All of us in the coop family will miss Bill terribly but know that we are better people having been blessed to know him. I pray that fond members and the love and support of family, friends and faith will somehow lessen the burden of loss and sadness that I know hangs over his loved ones.

We've lost one of the good guys, but heaven has gained a new saint.

rest well my friend
Lynn

Clay Hayes

June 5, 2020

I was fortunate to reconnect with Bill in the past year. He was a true gentleman. I’ll miss sharing our past adventures of fishing and hunting while at Randolph-Macon. He was a good friend and a very good man.

Jay Raymond

June 4, 2020

I worked at ODEC, in the engineering department, at the time Bill was at the Association until I retired in 2019. I was able to assist Bill in some of his articles on our projects with some appropriate facts and figures. I always enjoyed working with Bill because he was curious, wanting to learn and concerned with getting it right, and always enthusiastic about anything he was involved in. I also enjoyed his insight into the publishing world and what it took to turn those facts and figures into a real story.
Bill was always upbeat and could help change a poor attitude in relative short order. We used to occasionally cross paths at the Y and could support each other in our lack of progress.
I am glad that God put Bill in my life and I rejoice with the family that he is now in paradise with his Savior.
I pray God's peace and comfort for his family and loved ones. Keep the memories alive.
Jay Raymond

Ann Dixon Atkinson

June 4, 2020

I worked with Bill when I was the assistant to the president of Old Dominion Electric Cooperative. Our paths didn’t cross a lot but I was always glad to meet him in the hallway or when I slipped down to the VMDAssociation of Electric Cooperatives for a quick visit.

I have worked in a lot of places but think ODEC was among the nicest. People like Bill made it that way. It has been quite a few years since I retired but I don’t forget the friendships I made there.

Bull was, of course, too young to go, I know he loved his life and I’m sure he is in a very good place now.

David Smith

June 4, 2020

Bill and I went to Henrico High School and played football together. Later Bill and I worked together, he was at the Association and I was at ODEC. Bill was a gentleman and a great guy. He will be missed.

Cindy Adams

June 3, 2020

I will always remember Bill for his compassion .In time of need for anyone, Bill always had a ear to listen and a heartfelt answer to comfort you,
I will always be grateful for the love and compassion he showed me as my boss at the Electric Cooperative for many years. I will always remember him for his gentle spirit, and his beautiful everlasting smile ! He was a genuine friend.
He's gone to be with the Lord but will forever be in our hearts.

Alice & Brad Haithcock

June 3, 2020

Bill was a colleague during my time working with him at the Association prior to my retirement and remained a dear friend to me and my husband long after my retirement. Together we shared many laughs and miles of travel on behalf of the Association.

Bill will forever be remembered to us as a man who loved his family, wetting a fishing line, and meeting and hearing the many stories of members of the rural electric cooperative family across Virginia, Maryland, and Delaware. His humility, integrity, kindness, and genuine love of life shone through in his writing and photography, and his relationships with his co-workers and fellow associates across the country who were privileged to know him. We will all miss him.

Alice Lee & Brad Haithcock

Mark Farley

June 3, 2020

I will always remember Bill as Golio Escobar (you had to be there). I was lucky to be Bill’s roommate at Randolph-Macon during our freshmen year in 1972-73. Irby 19 was a livelier place because of him.
I have fond memories of fishing and hunting with Bill, despite having only great conversations to show for it afterward.
Bill had a generous spirit, and he was a very funny man!

Bob Shelton

June 3, 2020

Bill was a great guy and great friend. Fun times at Randolph-Macon, starting in Irby dorm. So glad I was able to see Bill at RMC baseball, basketball, and football games the past few years. I will miss him.

Linda Armes

June 3, 2020

What a nice man and gentleman Bill was! I worked with him for many years on cooperative living at Southside Electric headquarters in Crewe Virginia.

FROM THE FAMILY