Sherman McCray Obituary
Sherman McCray was born on March 14, 1930, in Birmingham, Alabama to the late James (Willie) and the late Mary Etta McCray (Thornton). Another influence in Sherman’s life was his stepfather, Mr. Joe Thornton, who raised Sherman from early childhood to a young adult.
Sherman believed in self-improvement through education. He received his formal education in Jefferson County Schools. He graduated from
A. H. Parker High School where he played the saxophone and clarinet in the marching band. Sherman continued his education and attended Wilson Junior College, the Illinois Institute of Technology, and then studied in
Sherman believed in a Higher Being and trusted in his faith.
In 1948, Sherman accepted his call to serve his country. He joined the United States Armed Forces where he served as a Bandsman and Marksman. After serving a tour in the Korean War, he re-enlisted in the National Guard, where he received an honorable discharge.
Sherman was a hard worker and known by his handle name as “Mac.” His employment expanded many years from working as a sanitation worker for the City of Chicago. He worked as a civil servant, delivering mail for the United Parcel Service (UPS). Sherman spent 25 years driving for the Roadway Trucking Company until his retirement.
On April 16, 1949, Sherman married Maggie Joyce Henry. Unto their union five children were born; Joan, Deborah, Beverly, Rogers, and Michael. Later, Sherman met the late LeVern Johnson where Carol J. Barnes and Derrick Johnson were born.
Sherman was preceded in death by: wife – Maggie McCray; his mother and stepfather – Mary Etta and Joe Thornton; father – James McCray; sister – Arzulia Brooks; daughter – Beverly; and sons – Rogers and Michael.
Sherman loved life and his favorite activities were reading, listening to jazz music, and reminiscing about his adventures. He enjoyed spending time with family, traveling the world, driving cross country in his truck, and going on vacation. Sherman felt strongly about health and self-motivation. Among his favorite sayings were “Life is simple, people make it hard” and “Self-preservation is the first law of nature.”
Sherman leaves to continue his legacy: three daughters – Joan, Deborah Joyce (Joseph), and Carol (Theodis, Sr.); one son – Derrick (Chandra); 11 grandchildren – Angelene Pair, Jenice Williams-Boyd (Jerome), Shantara McCray, Sherman Gilbert, Theodis Barnes, Jr., Sharidyn Barnes, Alexandra Johnson, Ayianni Johnson, Anaya Johnson, Jeremy Davis, and Imick McCray; 13 great-grandchildren and 2 great-great-grandchildren; special cousins/brother – Bruce Swain, Hattie Hicks, Annie Rea Williams, and Rod Hicks; special friends – Brother Dan Moore, Frederick Luckett, Sr., Frederick Luckett, Jr., Dorris Kostrzewa, Joan Nortis, Penny Thompson, Paul Clayton, Cybil Smith, and Conrad Olds; and host of nephews, nieces, and cousins.