William McKean Sherk, 85, world-famous master brewer, decorated WWII veteran, active Lion’s Club member, grape jelly maker extraordinaire, and descendant of Declaration of Independence signer and Pennsylvania governor, Col. Thomas McKean died at home from cancer Oct. 2.
Born Oct. 1, 1914 in Olympia, Wash. to Everett and Louella (McKean) Sherk, he married Helene in 1942. After high school, he joined the Olympia Brewing Company, Turnwater, Washington before graduating from the U.S.cBrewer’s Academy, New York City in 1938. Upon graduation, he joined the Master Brewers’ Association, to which he still belonged. He then worked as brewmaster at Pioneer Brewing Company until being drafted into the Army where he rose to the rank of Captain in the Medical Administrative Corps, receiving multiple commendations.
Returning to brewing after the war, Bill became a member of the American Society of Brewing Chemists, in 1946, remaining a member for 53 years. As a brewmaster, he joined Yuengling Brewing Company, Pottsville, PA, where in 1949, his daughter Mary Lou was born.
Bill subsequently moved on to Carling Brewing Company, where he quickly rose from assistant brewmaster to brewmaster, ultimately becoming plant manager. His career with Carling took him from Baltimore to Cleveland; Ft. Worth; St. Louis; Frankenmuth, MI; and Natick, MA.
Until recently, he remained active in the Salado Lions Club, having been elected 1997’s Lion of the Year and been named a Senior Master Lion. An avid golfer, he was a frequent sight (and often a formidable opponent) at the Mill Creek Country Club. He was a member of St. Francis Episcopal Church, Temple.
Bill is survived by his wife Herene; daughter and son-in-law Mary Lou (Sherk) and Dr. Ken Iserson, Tucson, AZ; his sister, Phoebe Sherk Weidner, Olympia, Washington; and his many friends throughout the U.S. and Canada.
A funeral with Bath George Udell officiating was held Oct. 4, at St. Francis Episcopal Church in Temple followed by burial at Salado Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations can be made to the American Cancer Society of the Scott and White Home Hospice.