TBDBITL Alumni Club

The Best Damn Band In The Land - The Ohio State University Marching Band Alumni

Richard U. Sherman

September 28, 1914 - November 12, 2014

Dr. Richard U. Sherman, class of 1950, passed away November 12, 2014. He was 100 years old.

Richard Updike Sherman, Jr. "Dick" was born in Utica, NY on September 28, 1914, the only son of Richard Updike Sherman and Eleanor Millar Sherman, the second of three children, and the grandson of James Schoolcraft Sherman (vice president under W.H. Taft, 1908-1912). Following graduation from The Choate School, Wallingford, CT, Dick attended Williams College, Williamstown, MA, receiving his B.A. in 1936. Some years later, he earned his Ph.D. in economics from Harvard Business School. After graduation from Williams he worked as a member of the research department of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. During this period he also played center for the (now defunct) Jamaica (NY) Hawks professional ice hockey team in Madison Square Garden. Always athletic, his greatest sports love was hockey, which he enjoyed throughout his life, as player, coach, and avid fan. In 1940 he joined the staff of the Office of Production Management in Washington, DC. Following a whirlwind romance on the eve of WWII, he married Virginia (Jinny) Stanley on October 4, 1941, a mere three months after meeting her. During the war, Dr. Sherman's work with the U.S. federal government and armed services served crucial WWII and post-war security and resource roles in the service of his country. In 1948 he went to work for the National Security Resources Board, in the Executive Office of the President, in Washington, DC. His duties included assisting in the transition of the Industrial College of the Armed Forces (ICAF) from an Army school to combined jurisdiction under all of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. He was then honored by being selected to be one of the first civilian students at ICAF (recently renamed the Eisenhower School for National Security and Resource Strategy) in Ft. McNair. In 1950 he joined Operations Research Office (ORO), an Army think tank. Early in his tenure, he spent six months in Tokyo holding the civilian role of Brigadier General over the ORO Southeast Asia Office, where, focusing on the growing national concern over the threat of communism, he assisted in U.S. negotiations with North Korea. He had a young intern there: Henry Kissinger. He was always fond of saying he was once Kissinger's boss! In 1961, The Ohio State University offered Dr. Sherman an endowed chair, Mershon Professor of Economics with a specialty in the Economics of National Defense. He moved his family of eight from Montgomery County, Maryland to Columbus, Ohio, where he has lived ever since. He found himself well-suited to the life of a professor. He took a one-year sabbatical from OSU in 1964-65, moving back to Washington, DC to teach at the National War College before returning to Columbus. In 1985, at the age of 70, Dr. Sherman retired from OSU. His professional activity continued, however, as local attorneys increasingly sought his services as an economic expert witness in wrongful death/permanent disability litigation. He and Jinny shared a passion for travel and sports, and throughout their lives found ways to engage fully in both wherever they lived, often with some or all of their six children. They played tennis on the home court and at tennis clubs, skied locally and in the western U.S., and took frequent trips around the country and across the globe. Retirement offered Dr. Sherman the opportunity to increase the length, distance, and variety of his and Jinny's travels, as well as ski trips with family or the National 70-Plus and 80-Plus Ski Clubs to Colorado and other western states. Dr. Sherman never abandoned his first love, hockey. He played with friends and family on frozen ponds in Maryland, and with OSU faculty/alumni teams in Ohio; for years he coached junior hockey. For relaxation, he loved vegetable gardening; family members were the fortunate beneficiaries of this activity. He was an active member of the Episcopal church, attending St John's Church in Olney, Maryland and St Mark's Church in Upper Arlington, Ohio. Over the years, he served on the vestry, as a lay-reader, and as a chalice-bearer. He did not permanently hang up his skis, skates, and tennis racquet until 2004, at nearly 90, when he and Jinny moved to an apartment at Friendship Village, Dublin, Ohio, a tiered retirement community where he still lives. He continued to stay active and for years was known as "The Walker" because he walked around the entire complex and neighborhood every day. His dry wit and subtle sense of humor are well-known, generally delivered deadpan to the delighted amusement of those around him. With rich memories, he still loves to tell stories, branching off to more stories, with a twinkle in his eye. Dick and Jinny raised six children, beginning in 1943, although they suffered a crushing blow in 1979 when their youngest child Jimbo was killed in a tree-climbing accident. Their eldest son, four daughters, and numerous spouses and grandchildren continue to flourish, carrying on his gifts to them. He is well-loved! Married for over 70 years, he finally said good-bye to his beloved wife Jinny when she died in January 2012, but his love of family and friends continued to sustain him and enrich others.

A Memorial Service honoring Richard's life will be held at 3 pm Saturday, November 15, 2014 at St. Mark's Episcopal Church, 2151 Dorset Road in Upper Arlington. Friends are welcome to join family in this celebration.

  • Richard was a member of the marching band in 1932.