- Hello all.
This week I received an email from one of the St. Philip group's newest members. She resides in Los Angeles, CA, but her father attended St. Philip school and she is trying to track down information that may help her find other family members that she has never met. I'm assuming that he probably attended Crafton High School as well-probably class of '38 or '39. I'm reposting her message below (with her permission) in hopes that someone on the list may have known her father or other members of the family and can help in her search.
Rich Sobocinski, '76
Moderator - St. Philip School group
message from Marilou McSherry:
Last year, for the first time in my life, I had the opportunity to see Crafton, my dad's boyhood home. At 59 years-old, I walked the same streets that dad had walked going from his home to school at St. Philip. In learning more about his school, I felt closer to dad, and thought this might be another opportunity to get to know him just a little bit better.
Clifford Joseph McSherry was born on September 5, 1920, the oldest son of Clifford Campbell McSherry and Magdalen Mary Hartz McSherry. When he was young, they lived in the Hartz home at 16 Coulter Street in Crafton, with his grandma and grandpa Hartz. In fact, I have an envelope he sent to his mom on November 24, 1941, from Pearl Harbor, Hawaii (2 weeks before the harbor was bombed by the Japanese). Dad was an alter boy at St. Philip, as were his two brothers, Ralph and Raymond (called Giz). He was a magnificent artist.
At some point in time, he married a woman named Patricia, and they had a son, Jimmy. After the war, the stresses of the war took their toll and dad moved to California (perhaps to try and escape the dreams). After an unfortunate divorce, he made a fresh start with a new family in California. I have never seen any photos of Patricia or Jimmy. If Jimmy is still alive, I would like to meet my other brother.
Dad was a major supporter of his parish (St. Marianne) in the Los Angeles area. Pastor Trebol also fought in the Pacific, and the two of them would sit in the rectory for hours on end, talking about their experiences and raising a glass to their fallen comrades. Two drinks was dad's limit, but he could nurse them for an entire afternoon. I remember helping to nail together carnival booths and baking cakes to help raise money for the church and school. Yes, even though he could no longer receive the sacraments, dad sent my brother and I to Catholic school. In the 1950's. he painted a life-size portrait of Cardinal James Francis McIntyre, Archbishop of Los Angeles, and donated it to the church. It sold for $5,000 (a year's wages back then) and was donated to St. John's Seminary in Camarillo, California, where I believe it still hangs today.
Cliff McSherry was the warmest, kindest, most gentle man I have ever known. As paraphrased from Will Rogers, he never met a man he didn't like (which was probably why he had so much pain from having to kill his fellow man in WWII). He was never wealthy (monitarily), but everyone loved him - he enjoyed a wealth of friends, as evidenced by his funeral procession in December, 1969. He was buried at the top of the hill at Resurrection Catholic Cemetery, and as you looked down the hill, you could not see the end of the miles long trail of cars. Father Trebol gave dad the greatest gift of his life, at the time of his death, a papal dispensation. Fr. Trebol got out of his sick-bed and said mass for my father - what a blessing!
If anyone in this group remembers my dad or the Hartz/McSherry family, or knows how to contact Jimmy (mom says Patricia may have remarried, so he could have a different last name), please let me know at mariloumcsherry@... . I'd love to hear from you.