Ward and Linda Sherril have been married for 53 years as of 2021. While talking with Ward I could tell that even after all these years he still has a very special love and affection for his bride. The couple grew up in Sand Springs and attended Charles Page High School together but it wasn’t until much later that they became interested in each other romantically.
During his high school years Ward, a major basketball star, was the senior class president, made the all-state basketball team, and was the Oklahoma Tulsa World Basketball player of the year. He went on to attend Oklahoma State University on a basketball scholarship and got a B.S. and M.S. in Biology.
Linda, two years younger than Ward, was a cheerleader for the Sandites. She was very focused on her studies as she too went on to get a degree in Biology from OSU.
After Linda had graduated from high school, just before the start of her freshman year at OSU, Ward remembers seeing her standing on the front porch of her family home in Sand Springs. Turns out they only lived a few houses away from each other! “Actually my sister encouraged me to call her and ask her out on a date,” Ward remembered. That was back in 1965 and the Sherrills have been together ever since.
After graduating from OSU they went on to work and live in Kansas, Ward as a basketball coach and teacher and Linda as a Biology teacher for Shawnee Mission Northwest High School. In 1982 the couple traveled back to Oklahoma together to live and work, Ward as a Principle and Linda as a teacher. Ward also held the At Large position on the Sand Springs City Council for two terms. The Sherril’s have two children who are also Charles Page High School graduates. Their son Brad has a degree in Criminal Justice and daughter Dawn has her B.S. and M.S in Speech Pathology, both from Northeastern State University.
In 2009 the Sherrils decided it was time to end their work in the school system and begin the adventure of life as retirees. And adventure they did! Rio Grande Valley, Texas, Casa Grande, Arizona, Pensacola, Florida and many other beautiful landscapes all seen from the dashboard of their new motorhome.
After a few years of enjoying their adventures together the happy couple decided to sell their home in Sand Springs and settle down in a condo near Langley, Oklahoma.
The Sherrils poured out compliments of their time spent in Sand Springs. The community, families, and teachers prepared the Sherrils for their college years. Ward says, “The coaches I had through the system, my head basketball coach was Cecil Hankins who was around for years. My teachers through elementary, junior high and high school, you know my penmanship is really good and people comment on that, but it’s because of the teachers I had. They all prepared me for my college major and my teaching of Biology”.
At the end of our conversation Ward shared some words of encouragement with current and future Sandites, ”Write down some goals and focus on those, focus on your Christian life, listen to the mentors, the older people who mentor you and guide you, follow your dreams, work hard and take opportunities when they come”.
Whether it’s school, work or marriage Ward shared a piece of advice as we focus on rising above.“There are so many ups and downs all the time…you get up the next day, you stand up and suck it up and you just go back to your day again. Overcome the obstacles”.