Sherman J. Gage, 96, a retired brigadier general in the U.S. military, died in the comfort of his family at the McClure Miller Respite House in Colchester June 6, 2019, the 44th anniversary of D-Day
He was born in Waterbury, son of Harris and Eva (Kavanagh) Gage.
His wife of 70 years, the former Elaine Bailey, died June 19, 2015.
Sherman was part of the “Greatest Generation.” He was a 1941 graduate of Waterbury High School and was drafted out of college in 1943 to fight in World War II. Sherman was chosen for officer’s training and flight school in the U.S. Army Air Corps, where he learned how to pilot single-engine planes and B-17 Flying Fortress bombers in the Pacific.
He was discharged from active duty in 1946, studied aeronautical engineering at Tri State College in Indiana, then returned to Vermont to study mathematics and science education at the University of Vermont. In 1950, he received his degree from UVM, but a new war had just erupted in Korea.
He served in the U.S. Army during the Korean War and returned to Vermont in 1952, where he became a member of the Vermont Army National Guard. For the next three decades, he served in the Army National Guard with federal distinction, rising to the rank of brigadier general. He also served as battalion commander of the Green Mountain Boys and as assistant adjutant general.
He was a soldier’s general, a line general who served with his men. Sherman was above all else a gentleman who treated everyone with respect and dignity.
Sherman also had a very successful parallel career as a civil engineer with the state of Vermont. He was lead engineer on the Interstate 89 project. His engineering career culminated in being the chief engineer for the state and was noted for working with then Gov. Deane Davis in starting Green Up Day in 1970.
The greatest joy in his life was his family. He and Elaine took great pride in the life they built together. They were very proud of their daughters and their grandchildren, constantly supporting and loving them all.
Golf was a passion for Sherman. He planned his weekends, vacations and retirement around it. His favorite golf partners included lifelong friends Ed Steele, Bob Hood, Neil Pendergast, Kenny Spagnola and Roland Cater. In Florida, his golf buddies and 19th-hole partners were Joe Wilson and Hank Lintel. His daughter Marcy was the only one of his daughters to inherit his golfing ability. He was her biggest fan.
Survivors include his children, Shelly Gage (Don O’Brien), Marcy Gage and Melanie Gage (Bill); five grandchildren who called him Bumpa, Daniel Eurich (Laura), Samuel Eurich, Philip McSherry, Thomas McSherry (Alba) and Julia Lothrop (Henry); his great-grandchildren, Maddie and Charlie Eurich (who were a great source of entertainment for him); and step-grandchildren Colin and Connor O’Brien.
His brother and sister, Joseph Gage and Eleanor Cummings, died earlier.
Sherman’s family thanks Dr. Karen Sokol for providing excellent and compassionate care for years. In addition, a special thank you to Mimi Parker, who helped both Sherman and Elaine with the difficult task of aging. She provided excellent care along with a huge dose of kindness. Mimi helped give the family peace of mind.
Graveside services with military honors were held at Hope Cemetery in Waterbury, directly behind the Congregational Church on Monday, June 10.
Donations in his memory would be appreciated to the Salvation Army. Perkins-Parker Funeral Home and Cremation Service in Waterbury is assisting the family. To send online condolences: perkinsparker.com or the funeral home’s Facebook page.