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Sherry Holcomb



Sherry “Holkie” Holcomb finished this life on January 27, 2022, following an illness that slowed, but never darkened her good nature and inner light.  Born in Oneonta, NY, on September 1, 1972, at age 13 she moved from Broome Developmental Center to a group home in Dryden, NY. Over time, she lived in other supportive houses in Ithaca and Trumansburg, each operated by Racker Center.  She completed her school years at T-S-T BOCES and spent many years working, volunteering, and learning at J.M. Murray Center, and across the wider community.  In recent years, she lived in Horseheads, NY, supported by the tender dedication of staff at Able2 Enhancing Potential Inc.

Sherry lived with a gentle insistence on friendship with everything.  She had an appreciation for obvious, good-natured teasing of those she loved, and the soul of one who would always offer you the first chip or french fry, just as quick as she’d share a soft chuckle with you and a sideways glance when she knew she was headed into questionable territory. She made many life-long friends everywhere she went. And she sure did love to go – anywhere with animals or bright lights, or flags, or shopping, or good food & cotton candy, and most especially – any place with books and magazines, or a comfy couch with popcorn, a movie and good friends to respond to the request for “help please” any time she wanted.

Many knew her voice and expressions of curiosity and delight as she volunteered across Tompkins and Cortland counties doing meal shopping for day care centers, delivering magazines to nursing home residents, cleaning local churches, re-stacking library shelves, and helping with animals at the local shelter.  In her teenage years, she adopted the Burhans & Alger families as her own, and they her.  She was predeceased by her soul friend, Sean, her self-claimed brother & friend Brian Alger, and her Grandpa Roger Burhans.  She leaves behind her dear friend Jesse, her housemates & support staff, her big sister Leisa Alger, her Grandma Burhans, other Burhans brothers & sisters, and a host of friends from a lifetime of inviting people in while keeping no record of wrongs.

Sherry will be laid to rest at Greensprings Natural Cemetery Preserve in Newfield, NY.  In lieu of flowers or other condolences, the family asks people to consider a contribution to the Dolly Parton Imagination Library, or one of the two organizations who supported and enjoyed her friendship over so many years: Racker Centers in Ithaca, NY, or Able2 Enhancing Potential, Inc. in Elmira, NY.


Though I only knew you for a short time Holkie you left an imprint on my heart that will be there forever! I will miss having hot chocolate and looking through magazines with you. I'm so grateful I was able to visit you recently! You will be missed by many. ❤️

Amanda Aumick Feb 3 2022 9:59 PM

Oh my heart… I met sherry when I was 6 years old. My mom worked with her and I had the privlage of getting to know her pretty much my whole life. She became one of my first friends and she will be very missed. She always knew how to light up a room with a smile or a laugh. My dearest condolences to the family and to everyone who knew Sherry personally.

Kari-Anne Nauseef Feb 2 2022 11:17 PM

I did not know this beautiful person but this incredibly written obituary made you feel like you did. She obviously touched so many lives and made the world a better place. God bless.

Kim S. Jan 31 2022 7:07 AM

My condolences to the family of Sherry, and staff that supported Sherry over the years. It was joy to work with her and experience the daily beauty of a snow fall and Christmas Day. The many fairs Sherry and I enjoy. I often thought of Sherry when I see advertisements for the Wizard of Oz or a dandelion she\'d picked in the yard. \" Sam blow Sam\". I did this with Sherry and her intoxicating laugh filled the yard as the seeds of the flower floated away. Sherry I hated to see you leave Triphammer and now it saddens me to know your no longer on the earth, your intoxicating laughter will be in the heavens.

Sandra D. Washington Jan 30 2022 5:04 PM