STEPHENVILLE - Ricky Lee Sherrod, 68, was born in Stephenville to Frank Marshall Sherrod and Cloye Era Little.
Rick spent most of his childhood years in Arlington and graduated from Arlington High School in 1968. He was a letterman in track & field at Arlington High, and a member of the then school record holding 2-mile relay team.
After graduation, he attended University of Texas at Arlington on an athletic scholarship in track-in-field where he went on to set the school record in the 800-meter run. Sherrod decided to forego his senior year – relinquishing his final year of eligibility – to pursue a life of God, and graduated from UTA in 1972 with a Bachelor’s degree in European History. He then attended Ambassador College in Pasadena, California where he met his wife of 23 years, Roxanne Keeley.
He welcomed his first daughter Heather in 1976; the same year he received his master’s degree in European history after returning to UTA. In 1977, he began his doctoral program at Michigan State University which he would go on to complete in 1980 with a degree in modern British history thus, allowing for him to acquire his most prevalent moniker “Doc.” Sherrod’s second daughter, Laura, was born the same year he completed his doctoral degree.
Upon graduation, Sherrod continued in his life of conviction, and held a multitude of positions with the Worldwide Church of God. His career preaching spanned from 1981-1998, and he was a pivotal member of the youth programs within the church especially the Minnesota summer camps for YOU. Following in his father’s footsteps, Rick served as principal from 1983-1985 at Imperial Schools located in Pasadena, California. Throughout the early 1990’s, Sherrod went on several archeological trips to Jordan in the Middle East. The year after the birth of his son Scott in 1989, he was fortunate enough to begin what at the time he regarded as his dream job in 1990 as a professor within the church at Ambassador College. Sherrod moved himself and his family to Gladewater, Texas where he taught and coached track and cross-country at the Big Sandy campus of Ambassador College until 1996.
In 1997, Sherrod began what would arguably become the most accomplished and impactful period of his life when he moved back home to Stephenville. After a brief stint writing articles for the Empire-Tribune, he returned to a career in academia taking a position with Stephenville High School in August 1998 as a social studies teacher where he would meet his wife Annette Pierce, whom he married in 1999.
“Doc” quickly established himself as an instrumental member of the community. He became a staple at every Yellow Jacket football game, and a student favorite year after year. His stature only grew as he trained for State and National Master’s track competitions by occasionally finding his way onto the track during Stephenville home track meets if there was an open lane in a heat of the 400-meter run. Sherrod would go on to serve as SHS social studies chair from 2000-2011, teach advanced placement classes in U.S. and World History, teach dual enrollment courses through Ranger College at SHS, and coach UIL Editorial Writing and Social Studies academic teams – even serving as coordinator for several years until 2011. Utilizing his advanced research and writing capabilities, he published three books associated with his beloved town, Stephenville Yellow Jacket Football. Images of America: Stephenville, and Texas High School Football Dynasties. He also enjoyed collaborating with his wife Annette on his book Plain Folks, Planters, and the Complexities of Southern Society. He had recently been working on a book about his extended Little family called The Road Little Travelled. He retired in 2015 on a part time basis while maintaining his role as a professor for the Ranger College courses until he retired full time in 2017. In retirement, Sherrod continued to be an active member of the community still attending every football game and playing golf, often twice a day.
Rick Sherrod had a positive effect on countless lives during his 68 years on this earth, and this was magnified by the influence he had within his own family.
The unwavering love shown to his parents, spouse, children, and grandchildren will not be forgotten. He was an example of how to live life as a servant leader constantly putting others before himself as outlined in Philippians 2:3-4, "3 Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, 4 not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others."
Sherrod will be missed and mourned by many, but the impact of his teachings, example, and love will live on, as he shared a little of himself with everyone he encountered.
SURVIVORS: His wife, Annette Pierce Sherrod; his daughter, Heather Lee Sherrod Steed and her husband T. J. Steed; their sons Darius and Dante, and daughter Stasia, all of Johnsville, TX.; daughter Laura Ann Sherrod and husband Jason Barkley; their daughters Sierra Smart and Emilee Barkley all of Kutztown, PA.; son Scott Marshall Sherrod and wife, Marissa Hunt Sherrod; their daughters Makenna and Kelsee; and their sons Brayden and Beckham, all of Gobles, MI.; Annette’s son Trevor, his wife Christeen and their children Lorelai, Lucas, Charles, and Clara of League City, TX: and Annette’s son Lance, his wife Angela, and their son Robert of Hutto, TX; his father-in-law Robert N. Pierce of Stephenville, his sisters-in law Anita Pierce of Stephenville, TX and Jamie Pierce of Austin, TX; and his brother-in-law Roger Pierce and his wife Heidi of Houston.
Condolences may be made at www.stephenvillefh.com.