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Forest Lawn Funeral Home & Memorial Garden

5755 Mallory Road, College Park, GA

OBITUARY

Calvin T. Sherard

April 18, 1926November 15, 2019

What is a Drum Major?

He is the field commander that keeps the attention, tempo and direction, positioned at the HEAD of a group. Calvin Sherard acquired his leadership skills from strong family influences and began his life journey commanding the attention of audiences as a skilled drum major in high school. He used his leadership skills and his charismatic personality in the African-American community to make an impact during the civil right's movement to fight for fair housing and equal employment practices through his leadership in the auto industry's labor unions, and worked with clergy, social groups and government to promote economic equality and financial empowerment in the African American Community. He set his own tempo in life and always marched to the beat of his own drum. When visiting him, if you asked how he was doing, his response was always promptly "Superfantastic!" which was not just a word, but his true state of being as he was content with his life's work and he was enjoying his retirement and enjoying quality time and visits from his family during his time in his Senior-Living home. Our family will miss his wit and humor, his love for music, good food, cookies and coca-cola.

The youngest of five (5) siblings, to the union of Rev. Major J. Sherard, a traveling Baptist Minister and Mrs. Elizabeth (Perkins) Sherard, Calvin was born on April 18, 1926 in Corinth, Mississippi. For a ministry assignment, his father relocated his family to Atlanta Georgia where Calvin attended school until graduation. He served in the Armed Forces in WWII in Okinawa and was honorably discharged in 1950. He returned to the United States where he lived in Cleveland Ohio and later moved to Milwaukee, WI where he was employed with American Motors Corporation. He became active in the labor movement after he witnessed poor labor practices and discriminatory practices involving his fellow workers. During the 1950 to late 1960s in the Midwestern states in correlation with Dr. Martin Luther Kings' fight for injustices in the southern states, Calvin Sherard in the industrial midwest, spearheaded and formed the group, The Crusaders in Milwaukee WI, which was a working class of men whom's goal was to fill the gap in the city's black political leadership. During an interview with Rueben Harpole, Jr. A well-known journalist in the area, when asked what sparked his interest to be an activist, he advised "At the age of twelve, he read a book about the African-American Labor and Civil Rights leader, A. Phillip Randolph and was impressed with his position and fight for better jobs and community empowerment which was a great influence in his decision to become involved in efforts to improve the social economics in the African-American community."

In 1965, he relocated to Detroit, Michigan where he was employed at Chrysler Corporation. He continued to be active through the NALC through the United Auto Workers (UAW) through the Trade Union Leadership Council until his retirement after 30 years of employment. He relocated to Augusta, Georgia where he lived with his sister Naomi to serve as her caregiver. When she passed, he relocated to Atlanta, GA.

He is preceded in death by his parents, Reverend Major J. Sherard II and Elizabeth (Perkins) Sherard; Wives, Letha M. Sherard and Bettye White-Sherard; 4 siblings; Major Sherard, Elizabeth Sherard, Robert Sherard, Naomi Sherard Delcambre; Son, Calvin Sherard, Jr. He leaves to cherish his memory his children; Major J. Sherard III. Mobile, AL; Patricia A.Pickett, Atlanta GA; Carissa Sherard-Verdree, Augusta GA; Robert (Valdez) Sherard, wife (Denise) Milwaukee WI; Phyllis M. Sherard, Atlanta GA; Phillip A. Sherard of Milwaukee, WI; Karen K. Jones, Dallas, TX; Karen Sherard-Murrray (Darren) of Atlanta, GA and Stephanie A. Sherard of Atlanta, GA; 15 grandchildren; 19 great-grandchildren and a host of nieces, nephews and cousins.

Services

  • Viewing Friday, November 22, 2019
  • Funeral Service Saturday, November 23, 2019
  • Committal Service Monday, November 25, 2019

Memories

Calvin T. Sherard

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Linda Nuckles

November 22, 2019

My memory is all the wonderful things Calvin’s daughter, Phyllis, shared with me. His obituary is in line with all our talks. She loves her father and I know why.

From all the South Cobb Mermaids: Condolences to You and Your Family

Shawanna Mason

November 22, 2019

Daddy,
May you rest and continue to be 'SuperFantastic"! I was honored and blessed to be in your presence only once. However, I felt as if I've known you a lifetime. Thank you for continuing to bless me and my family with a piece of you through my Aunt Karen, Michelle and Rachel.
Love,
Wanda, Shawanna and Larry Mason Jr, Ronnie and Mandell Johnson.

Cheresse Hughes

November 22, 2019

Dear Grandad
I want you to know I love you so much, even though we never had a chance to physically meet in person; I am Grateful that God gave me and my children the opportunity to talk to you one last time. You were a great, and very intelligent man! We have alot in common; the drive and the eagerness I have to succeed in life had to come from you. I know you are in a better place and you are no longer suffering, I will miss you Grandad.

Love Cheresse

Carissa Sherard Verdree

November 19, 2019

My fondest memories when you told you stories of playing basketball in high school serving your country in World war II and your community activism. You will always hold a special place in my heart, you will truly be missed rest in peace Daddy...

Vivian Verdree-Meyers

November 19, 2019

I wish the family my condolences.

FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY