Rachel A (Sherman) Straw

Rachel A (Sherman) Straw

Rachel Agnes (Sherman) Straw, beloved and devoted wife, mother, grandmother, sister and friend, passed away in Middlebury, Vermont on December 31, 2023. She was 83.

Rachel was born February 13, 1940 to Howard and Katherine Sherman of Duxbury, Vermont, the second of their nine children. She graduated from Waterbury High School in 1958 and Johnson State College in 1962.

While in high school she spent a summer working at the Rutledge Inn in Bradford, where she met the love of her life Duane Straw. They were married on August 25, 1962 in Waterbury, Vermont.

They started their life together in Richmond, Vermont where they welcomed three children – Daryl in 1964, Doreen in 1965, and Anne in 1970. They moved to Ferrisburgh in 1974 and raised their family on a small farm. Rachel continued her teaching career at Ferrisburgh Central School. She taught there until her retirement in 1998, although she never really stopped working. She loved seeing her former students around town and reminiscing with them.

Family was everything to Rachel. She loved kids and was overjoyed when her grandchildren arrived, Samir, Jacob, and Gabriel Kadric, and Natalie Straw. There was nothing she wouldn’t do for her children or grandchildren – cheering at numerous athletic events, piano recitals, skating shows, going on 50 foot flume plunge Sea World, sliding parties at her family home in Duxbury, baking hundreds of chocolate chip cookies, and homemade cinnamon rolls all while keeping her cupboards stocked with Grandma snacks.

Rachel was up for any adventure her family and friends invited her to: trips to New York City with the Fresh Air Fund, book tours to California, shopping trips to North Conway, road trips to Florida, a cross county van trip with Duane to see Mount Rushmore and the Black Hills, visits to Canada to see relatives and Niagra Falls, and an Alaskan cruise and train trip to celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary in 2012.

She never met a stranger and was well known in Ferrisburgh and Vergennes. She loved talking to people whether at the bank, skating rink, soccer games or airports. She made people feel welcome and safe while sharing their stories. She was always there to help those who needed it because she truly wanted to, never for recognition. She was an excellent cook (especially baked goods) and gardener. She was proud that Duane could build or fix anything and often volunteered him to help family or friends with their projects.

Rachel and Duane had a family camp in Vershire, Vermont, where years of fun were spent with their children, grandchildren, and friends. The water in the brook is always cold but you could count on Mom to be knee deep in it repairing the dam and helping the kids fish.

Following their retirements, Rachel and Duane wintered in South Daytona, Florida for 25 years. Their Florida home was a welcoming place for family and friends to visit. Mom loved to call and tease about the winter weather in Vermont while they were basking in the Florida sun.

Rachel is survived by her three children and their spouses: Daryl (Michele) Straw of South Burlington, Doreen (Mumin) Kadric of Ferrisburgh and Anne (Jeremy Gibson) Straw of Indianapolis, Indiana; four grandchildren, Natalie Straw, and Samir, Jacob, and Gabriel Kadric; eight siblings and their spouses: Rebecca (Burton) Green, of Duxbury, Rodney (Patricia) Sherman of Duxbury, Gladys (Albert) Noel of Middlesex, North Carolina, Constance Sherman Dolloff of Northfield, Ronald (Mary) Sherman of Duxbury, Theresa (Roy) Marshall of Waterbury Center, Kathryn (Robert) Grace of Waterbury, and Howard (Denise) Sherman of Myrtle Beach, South Carolina; many loved nieces and nephews; and many treasured friends from a life well lived. She was predeceased by her parents; her aunt Barbara McGrath; and by her husband Duane.

The family would like to extend gratitude to Helen Porter Rehabilitation and Nursing Center for their loving care of Rachel during her final months, as well as Dr. Karen Fromhold, Marianne Potter, NP, Drs. Dana Barnard, Jenna Clough, and Taylor Zak from Palliative Care.

Visiting hours will be held 5 to 8 p.m. on Monday, January 8th at Brown-McClay Funeral Home in Vergennes. A graveside service will be held in the spring. In lieu of flowers, family requests donations be made in Rachel’s name to the Alzheimer Association of Vermont. To send online condolences to her family please visit www.brownmcclayfuneralhomes.com

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Gladys Noel
5 months ago

Dear Rachel’s Family, Our hearts go out to you at this very sad time. Rachel was a good and loyal sister and friend. She will be remembered and missed by all of us. I remember how hard she worked to go to college and our lives together as young mothers in Richmond. We had some great times together.

Love you, Aunt Gladys & Uncle Al

Iona Smith
5 months ago

So sorry to hear this loss of your beloved Rachel. I enjoyed the times we worked together at Kennedy Brothers. We all had some wonderful times!!🙏❤️💔

Judy Rice
5 months ago

When I think of Rachel … I remember her as a wonderful teacher to our 3 children at Ferrisburg Elementary School, I remember how proud she was of her beautiful gardens, and I remember talking with her at our monthly Addison County Retired Teacher meetings and adventures. I will miss her. 💕

Kathryn Grace
5 months ago

Rachel was not only my sister and mentor but also my best friend. I will cherish the many memories we made together as well as her lessons of love, loyalty, generosity and compassion.. My heart is broken but I know she is welcomed into the arms of her beloved husband and parents. Rest in peace, Sweet Sister and rest assured you have more than earned your angel wings and will always be loved.💕🙏💕🙏. Love, Kathi

Nancy Lavigne
5 months ago

So sorry for your loss♥️

Kathy Laframboise, RN
5 months ago

In my thoughts and prayers.

Loraine Beaulier
5 months ago

So sorry to learn of Rachel’s passing. Both she and Duane were wonderful neighbors to us in the few years we knew them in Florida. We have missed them tremendously.
Ray and Loraine Beaulier

Sheila Hunter
5 months ago

Our sincere sympathy to all Rachel’s family at this very sad time for them.

Sheila Hunter & Debbie Hunter Lajoie

Gary Libby
5 months ago

Doreen, Daryl and Anne – Sorry to hear of the loss of your mom. She was always very kind to me. Wishing you all peace in the time of great sorrow.

Sue Marcelle
5 months ago

Daryl, Doreen & Anne,
We are so sad for your loss. Your Mom was a wonderful lady.
We had intended to come to her gathering tonight but are not able to due to unavoidable circumstances.
You are in our thoughts and prayers.
Love from Lorraine Barr, Wendy (Danyow) Hildebrand, and Gary & Susan (Danyow) Marcelle

annie wilson
5 months ago

I am saddened to hear of Rachel’s passing. What a great lady she was and wonderful friend. I am honored that I taught with her at Ferrisburgh Central. She truly was a gem. She even came and helped me throw hay on my farm when I needed an extra hand, a farm girl at heart. When my dog passed she got me to go get the sister to her dog at the Gebo’s. I will always be grateful to Rachel for my dog, Maize. She remained a good friend even after her retirement. I loved to sit with her at soccer games to watch her grands play and catch up. My condolences to all of her family. She will be missed. Thank you Rachel for all the amazing times and memories. I will remember you always <3 I’m sure she’s found the golf course in heaven and is out there playing right now 🙂

Dale Franklin
5 months ago

So sorry for your loss. Our thoughts are with you in this time of sorrow.
Dale and Kathy Franklin

Lisa Leduc
5 months ago

Daryl, Doreen and Anne,
So very sorry to hear of your mom’s passing, but I have faith that she and Duane are reunited. I’m sure she was missing him terribly. I always enjoyed your mom’s notes in our Christmas card each year, and I’m sure you’ve heard the story that I loved her name so much, that I named our first daughter Rachael 😉. Sending up prayers for peace and comfort for you and your family, and all who knew and loved your mom.

God Bless,
Lisa & Patrick Leduc

Brown Mcclay Funeral Homes