Jim Sherrill, 78: Attorney ‘wanted to do it all’

Jim Sherrill was an accomplished musician, a talented artist and even an amateur archaeologist. But what he wanted to do most, and what he did for nearly 30 years, was work as an attorney.

As an assistant prosecutor in the Upson County District Attorney’s office, Mr. Sherrill was remembered as a upbeat man with a keen sense of humor.

“He used to say ‘Whenever life is in peril, just pick up the phone and call Jim Sherrill,’” said Michelle Ivey, a victim’s advocate in the district attorney’s office. “I’ll never forget that. I’ll never forget him, because he could always make us laugh.”

James Edward Sherrill, widely known as Jim, of Peachtree City, died Thursday from complications of cancer. He was 78. His body was cremated and a memorial celebration is planned from 6 p.m. until 8 p.m. Wednesday at Carl J. Mowell & Son, Peachtree City, which is also in charge of arrangements.

In the early ’60s, Mr. Sherrill was on his way to his dream of being an attorney and was putting himself through law school at Gonzaga University, where he’d earned his undergraduate degree. But the newly married man ran into an obstacle: he got laid off from his job in Washington state.

“Work was very seasonal up there, during that time,” said Sandra Sherrill, his wife of 51 years. “So he put school on hold for a while.”

His new job, with a company that designed kitchen cabinets, was “right up his alley, because he liked to design things, too,” his wife said. Though he had a healthy interest in the law, he never lost his desire to explore other subjects, she said.

Through his job, Mr. Sherrill had an opportunity to leave the state of Washington and transfer to California or Georgia. The couple, by then parents of two children, picked the South over staying on the West Coast.

The Sherrill’s arrived in Peachtree City, in 1966. By the ’70s, Mr. Sherrill saw an opportunity to finish his law degree, which he did, and he started his law practice in 1974. He initially worked in private practice, before taking a job in the district attorney’s office and then repeating the cycle a few years later. After he retired in 2002, from his latest stint in the DA’s office, Mr. Sherrill spent a lot of time exploring his other interests, his wife said.

“He especially liked hunting for arrowheads,” she said, of his interest in Native American culture.

Mr. Sherrill also found joy in playing the trombone, which he did for local bands and ensembles in and around Fayette County.

“He just did all of these things,” Mrs. Sherrill said. “He was one of those guys who wanted to do it all.”

In addition to his wife, Mr. Sherrill is survived by his daughter Roxanna Lynn of Fayetteville; and son, Edward Lewis Sherrill II of Douglasville.