On the evening of August 27, 2019, Sheri Dean Russell passed away peacefully at home surrounded by loved ones after a long and valiant battle with cancer. She was two weeks shy of her 70th birthday. Sheri was born September 9, 1949, to Leland and Betty Carlson in the American Fork Hospital. Raised in Pleasant Grove, she talked often and fondly of her childhood years in "monkey town." She graduated from Pleasant Grove High School in 1967. She was active in several sports, clubs, and other school organizations. She loved helping organize school and community dances. She often spoke of how her parents were the Stake Dance Coordinators for many years, and how they could "really move."
After high school Sheri had two unsuccessful marriages, through which she gave birth to two sons, Troy Crossley and Ryan Carlson. As a single mother, she focused all her time and energy on her boys, making sure they never wanted for anything. It wasn't until 1975 that she met her true love, John Russell. They were together a decade before they married on March 15, 1985, and remained married until John passed away on May 10, 2010. Sheri and John loved to travel. Taking up scuba diving, they were able to take many diving trips to Mexico, Hawaii, the Caribbean, and any other place where the water was warm and blue. Western Europe was also a favorite destination. They spent their time pursuing memories that they would both cherish until their deaths.
Having an affinity for numbers, Sheri graduated with honors from Utah Valley State College (now Utah Valley University), with an associates degree in accounting in 1994. Shortly after her graduation, she went to work as the accounts manager for the Provo law firm of Howard, Lewis & Peterson, where she remained for the next 25 years, retiring only 3 weeks prior to her death. She spoke very highly of her coworkers, and cherished the relationships she made there, citing those friendships as a primary factor in keeping her active throughout her later years.
Sheri spent much of her married life living in American Fork. She moved to the 7 C's retirement park in 2001. She devoted herself to caring for John, whose health was declining for several years prior to his passing in 2010. She still found time to spend with children and grandchildren. A soccer game, dance performance, or school concert never passed without Grandma Sheri there watching. She was an active member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. As a widow, Sheri turned her time and attention to those around her. She became very close to several members of her ward, and immensely enjoyed visiting with her friends there. If you stepped into her house, you would always find some manner of service project underway.
Despite her health issues, and being placed on oxygen 24 hours a day, Sheri insisted on maintaining an active lifestyle. She spent many years dragging her oxygen tanks behind her as she headed off to work, a soccer game, a birthday party, or just grocery shopping. She would not allow her illnesses to slow her down, and even suffering chronic pain, she always had a positive attitude, and refused to complain about her ailments.
Sheri was fiercely proud of her children and grandchildren. Almost everyone she came across was regaled with stories of their latest accomplishments. Academic, athletic, and even romantic . . . no grandchild was immune as an object of her bragging. She was also very close to her siblings and nieces and nephews. Spending time with her brothers, sister, and their families, especially since the passing of her husband, was something she cherished. Those memories were among her most fond as she neared the end of her life. Even in her final days, she would constantly bring up her concern with how they were doing.
Sheri touched the life of everyone she met. Her selfless concern for others was her hallmark. You could not end a conversation with her until she asked what she could do for you. It was never about what she needed for herself. She was a loyal friend, and always went out of her way to serve.
Sheri is survived by her son Troy Crossley (Julie), and Ryan Carlson (Tami). Also by her brother Scott Carlson, sister Jolene Bromley, and brother Hal Carlson (Shelli). She left behind 7 grandchildren and 1 great grandchild. She will be missed by those she left behind, and welcomed joyfully by those who went before.
Funeral services will be held Tuesday, September 3, 2019, at 11:00 a.m. in the Hillcrest Stake Center, 165 North 350 West, in American Fork. Family and friends may attend a viewing from 10:00 - 10:45 a.m. prior to the services. Interment will be at Veterans Memorial Cemetery in Bluffdale. Funeral directors – Olpin Family Mortuary, Pleasant Grove. Condolences may be sent to the family at www.olpinmortuary.com
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