Sherril Ann (Hilding) Raffert

Thursday, December 21, 2017

Hartland, Vt. — Sherril Ann (Hilding) Rafferty passed away unexpectedly but peacefully in her home on Monday, Dec. 11, 2017, with her faithful dogs, Jake and Ronaldo, by her side. She was 72.

Born on March 7, 1945, in New London, Conn., Sherry was the daughter of Andy and Arline (Springer) Hilding. She graduated from Ledyard High School in 1963 and attended Tufts University. Sherry moved to Norwich, Vt. in 1966 with her first husband, Peter Gamble. In 1986, she earned a Bachelors of Art degree in Early Childhood Education from Norwich University. She married the love of her life, Paul Rafferty, in 1981.

A true Pisces, Sherry was nurtured by the water, whether it was swimming in the cool Atlantic at Ocean Beach Park or fly fishing with her father on the Battenkill. She was compassionate and sensitive and had a tremendous love of children. In addition to raising her two sons, Andrew and Paul Gamble, Sherry worked as a childcare teacher and director. Her career as an educator began at the Norwich Daycare Center in 1970’s and she ultimately served as the Director of several Upper Valley Child Care Centers including the Hanover and Lyme Childcare Centers and the Brattleboro Retreat childcare center.

Sherry was a voracious reader and after retiring from teaching enjoyed working at Encore Books in West Lebanon. She also worked with children at the White River Elementary School and the Hartford Area Career and Technical Center.

Sherry was a very social person and she brightened every gathering she attended with her enthusiasm, intelligence and wit. Lunches with The Red Hat Society, line dancing at Damon Hall and water aerobics in Ascutney were just some of the activities she thrived on. She had a special group of friends who met regularly for dog walks and conversation.

The birth of her two grandchildren, Brian and Paige Gamble, brought her great joy. “Gramma” became digitally proficient and loved to communicate with Brian and Paige over Skype, Facetime, and text messaging. Christmas and birthdays were always exciting, as Sherry went overboard with her thoughtful and playful gifts, much to everyone’s chagrin. Her love for her children and grandchildren could only be matched by her love for her husband Paul “Rapper” Rafferty.

Married in 1981, Sherry and Rapper spent 36 wonderful years together. They enjoyed spending time in their log cabin in Hartland and their camp in Glover, Vt. It was Sherry’s empathic and accepting nature that kept our family together. She had the innate ability to forgive and move forward. It was common practice for our blended families to share holidays and other celebrations. Sherry understood that it is the human connection the binds us together. Luckily, she found those same qualities in her husband Paul.

Sherry was predeceased by her parents, Andy and Arline Hilding and her son, Kenneth Ross Gamble. She is survived by her husband, Paul of Hartland; her mother-in-law, Lillian Rafferty (Wilder); her sister in-law, Fairlee Gamble (Hanover, N.H.); her son, Andrew Gamble and partner Ellen Wood (WRJ); her son, Paul Gamble and wife, Cindy (Charlestown, Mass.); her grandchildren, Brian and Paige Gamble and step-grandchildren Casey Shaw and Charlie and Peter Umland.

A viewing will be held at Knight’s Funeral Home in WRJ on Dec. 27 from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. Immediately following the viewing we invite all who knew Sherry to join us for a celebration of her life at The Engine Room, 188 S Main St, WRJ, Vt. from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m

Online condolences can be made at www.knightfuneralhomes.com. Memorial contributions may be made to http://www.newenglandlabrescue.com or to www.plannedparenthood.org.