Sherry Leigh Knowles passed away on Sunday, November 8, 2020 surrounded by friends and family after a courageous battle against COVID-19. Born April 13, 1958, with her twin sister Shelly in Syracuse NY, she is the daughter of the late Frederick H. and Mildred (Emm) Knowles.
Sherry is predeceased by her parents, her aunts and uncles, Patricia Parker Lockwood, Shirley Tobin Craver, Beverly Mills Perrin, James Emm, Ronald Emm, her beloved nephew, Nicholas Knowles, her cousins, George Stampp, Valerie DiCuffa, A.J. DiCuffa, Brenda Mills, Jamine Emm, Heidi Emm, and Heather Frost.
She is survived by her twin, Shelly Lynn Knowles, her older sister, Susan Sara Knowles, her niece and her husband, Sara and Mark Deukmejian, her uncle, William Emm, her beloved dog, Lance, and many cousins and friends.
Sherry graduated from Liverpool High School in 1976. Inspired by her mother, she pursued a career in nursing. Sherry earned her Associate Degree in Nursing at Onondaga Community College and advanced her education through SUNY Binghamton, University of Central Florida and St. Petersburg College.
Sherry entered the nursing field full of determination and enthusiasm. Her motivated career path included specialties in trauma and cardiopulmonary intensive care, vascular access and critical care. She continued her love for nursing across the country as an ICU travel nurse. Her latest positions at Orlando Regional Medical Center was as a Critical Care RN in the Cardiovascular Intensive Care Unit and as a Nurse Educator. Sherry’s calling was teaching. Sherry guided and mentored thousands of nurses over the years, often ending in lasting friendships. She received five Nursing Excellence awards and an Employee Recognition award during her career.
Sherry’s nursing career was more than a passion, it is who she was. Sherry had all the traditional qualities of a nurse: caring, kindness, dedication, compassion and empathy. She molded these qualities with her personality, shaping her into the unique individual she was. She was always helping others and loved animals. Sherry said “If I was not a nurse, I would be a veterinarian.” Sherry enjoyed life and her beloved dog Lance. Everywhere Sherry went, Lance was usually with her. They went to beaches, vacations and bike rides together. She even trained Lance to become a therapy dog so she could take him to nursing homes and the hospital.
She shared her love of life with everyone she met, especially her close-knit group of friends. Her distinctive laugh was contagious to those around her. She liked entertaining and going out, and especially enjoyed a cold bottle of Coors Light. Her hobbies included ceramics, pottery, painting, adventuring and making things, including a wooden swing that proudly sits in her backyard.
A gathering of friends and family will be held from 3 PM to 5 PM, on Saturday, November 28th at Newcomer Cremations, Funerals and Receptions, East Orlando. A memorial service will begin at 5 PM. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, you will be required to wear a mask, covering both your nose and mouth, and maintain social distancing. In lieu of flowers, please make a donation to Orlando Regional Medical Center in Sherry’s name.
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