Thomas W. Sherwood
Thomas William Sherwood was born on April 8,1942 in Portland, Oregon to Gale and Leona (nee Holm) Sherwood. Tom and his older sister, Frances, grew up in Portland where Tom discovered his love of music early on, singing in church and community choirs. He studied at Lewis & Clark College and appeared with the Portland Symphony Orchestra and the City’s Gilbert & Sullivan Opera Troupe. He met his first wife, Susan (nee Warren) in Portland where they had their first two children, Laura and Thomas Gregory. The family moved to Cincinnati, Ohio in 1970 and soon welcomed their third child, Tim.
Tom earned his Master’s in Choral Conducting from the University of Cincinnati’s College Conservatory of Music having studied under Elmer Thomas. He served as Music Director for several local Churches, including Grace United Methodist and Kennedy Heights Presbyterian and was Cantor for The Valley Temple for 25 years. As an Oratorio specialist, he was Bass soloist for Robert Shaw in Cincinnati’s May Festival and in Atlanta Symphony’s Ninth Symphony. In addition to solo work with nearly every community choir in Cincinnati, Sherwood appeared with both the Cincinnati and the Dayton Opera Companies. He was also a co-founder of Vocal Arts Ensemble and taught in the Department of Music & Theatre at Xavier University. Throughout his life in Cincinnati, Tom always taught voice, as part of the Toedtman School of Music, Xavier University and from his home studio. His love of music was integral to who he was, and he imparted that love to his children and grandchildren. Even in his last years while suffering with dementia, his ear for and knowledge of music never faded as he often talked about the composers he loved, especially J.S. Bach.
In 1987 Tom married Anne “Anna” (nee Coffaro) and became stepfather to her three children, Cathy, Debbie and Rick. Anne truly was the love of Tom’s life and together they shared a beautiful life filled with music, travel, friends, family, Anne’s incredible cooking, beloved pets and a home they both treasured in North College Hill.
Tom is survived by his wife Anne Sherwood; children, the Rev Laura Sherwood (Constantine Kuznichenko), Thomas G. Sherwood (Debbie), and Tim Sherwood (Nicole Murray); Stepchildren, Cathy Murray (Jack), Debbie Kemme (Steve), and Rick Fearing (Cookie); sisters Frances Fleischman (Gordy) of Sacramento, CA and Carol Remster of Portland, OR; Grandchildren, T.J., Deion, Dominique and Jayden Sherwood, Madelyn and Rachel Sherwood; Wally, Tom and Maria Krimmer; Joe and Josh Kemme, Alex and Katie Fearing; numerous nieces, nephews, cousins and countless friends. Tom was preceded in death by his sister Ginger Mills (Will) of Portland, OR.
Tom died at University Hospital on November 22, 2020, from Covid-19 pneumonia. A private family service will be held in December and a memorial concert will be planned post COVID-19 (hopefully mid-2021). All friends, family, colleagues and students are invited to participate and/or contribute ideas for what the family hopes will be a celebration of Tom’s life and his love for music. Please contact his daughter, Laura by email: email@example.com.
Memorials may be made to the Kennedy Heights Presbyterian Church Music Fund – 6312 Kennedy Ave./Cincinnati, OH 45213; online portal https://giv.li/m2hbjv (specify “Music Fund”)
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Susan Ann Lovelace saysDecember 19, 2020 at 3:22 pm
Mr. Sherwood was my choir teacher at Rex Putnam High School my freshman year (1969-70). At that time, I remember being so amazed at his red bushy beard, as few teachers had beards at that time. He was such a real and caring person, and he earned my admiration for that. He was truly one-of-a-kind.
Brenda Smith saysDecember 6, 2020 at 1:16 pm
I had the honor of studying singing with Tom for several years, and I was a member of his Bach Chorale. Tom was a gifted teacher. He loved finding surprising connections between seemingly disparate ideas. Tom was larger than life. I will miss the twinkle in his eye.
Sharon Dittmar saysDecember 4, 2020 at 7:45 pm
Tom was Music Director at First Unitarian Church when I was the minister there. He was thoughtful, deliberate, professional, kind, and a great team player. And he had the voice of an angel. I have so many memories of Anne and Tom at the church during this time. I also liked that he was willing to be self-reflective. It all seems like just yesterday. I will miss him and am so glad I had the gift to know him. Much Love. Reverend Sharon Dittmar
Paul Welch saysDecember 2, 2020 at 10:39 am
Tom was an outstanding singer and a thorough musician in every way. Since the 1970s I’ve had the privilege of accompanying him numerous times in concerts and church services. Despite his superlative talents he was always modest, friendly and cooperative. He will be missed but his legacy lives on in the hearts of those who knew him.
J.R. Cassidy saysDecember 1, 2020 at 8:48 pm
Condolences Anne and family. Tom will always be remembered as a wonderful performer and beloved teacher. I only had the pleasure of working with Tom once on a role that I sought him out to do — Judge Turpin — in the KSO’s semi-staged concert production of Stephen Sondheim’s Sweeney Todd. Talking to Tom about music was always a delight. Rest in peace sir. We will see you again soon.
Lucy Jamison saysNovember 30, 2020 at 7:55 pm
Anne please accept my condolences on your loss. I’m so glad you two were able to provide so much happiness for each other all these years. May that love give you strength during this difficult time. Love you. Lucy
Matthew Moon-Bailey saysNovember 30, 2020 at 11:43 am
My heartfelt condolences to the family. I’ll always remember Uncle Tom for his humor, his booming voice and loving nature.
Jon Gresham saysNovember 30, 2020 at 9:13 am
Sorry to learn of the passing of Tom Sherwood. I recall more than one occasion of performing as trumpeter with Tom for the bass aria, “The Trumpet Shall Sound,” as part of the Northern Kentucky Community Chorus “Messiah” productions. Of the many performances of the aria I have done, the collaborations with Tom stand out as the best, and I will always appreciate the honor and privilege of being a part of those opportunities.
Susan Christy saysNovember 29, 2020 at 4:53 pm
I knew Tom during his time as Music Director at First Unitarian Church in Cincinnati. His smile and enthusiasm were large, as was his talent. I send my sincere condolences to his family.
Mark Silbersack saysNovember 29, 2020 at 1:16 pm
Anne, I was so sorry to hear of your loss. I’ll be praying for you both. Just seeing you and Tom smiling in the above picture says it all to me. Stay safe. Mark
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