Sherry Lee (Smalley) Clausing, 83, passed away on Thursday, September 1, 2022, at 8:07 p.m. at Blair Ridge Health Campus in Peru, surrounded by the loving presence of her caring nurses, facility staff, and some of her family.
She leaves behind a grieving husband, Ken, Peru; daughter, Rebecca (Phil) Masters, Commerce Township, MI; and son, Christopher (Cara) Clausing of Crown Point. She was the 11th generation of a 14 generation Smalley family that came to Massachusetts, twelve years after the Mayflower. It took until the 6th generation for the family to find and settle in Fulton County, IN. Sherry was the oldest of 6 children born to Carl and Faye (Brunson) Smalley on April 29, 1939 in Peru, IN. She was baptized at St. John’s Lutheran Church on August 4th, 1939. She also attended St. John’s School for eight years and graduated from Peru High School in 1957. She worked as a secretary at Square D for 6 years before going to Valparaiso University where she earned her Bachelor’s Degree. She taught English and Drama at Peru High School for a total of 5 years. In the midst of those years, she took two years off from teaching to earn her Master’s from Indiana State University. During that time she met Ken whom she married on August 5, 1972. For a number of years she was active in the Ole Olsen Community Theatre as an actress, director, and make-up director. As her children went off to school, she started up and continued to be St. John’s Pre-School teacher for 24 years. She sang for 30+ years in St. John’s choir and at Peru’s Community Easter Pageant. She truly was a great helpmate to her husband in his teaching and farming career. She and her canning skills were his inspiration for their gardening venture which began in the backyard of their Peru home and which led through her great-grandfather’s garden near the 4-H Fairgrounds and also through a friend’s garden near Macy to finally landing them on their little farm (big garden once) near Chili, where they’ve lived since 1987.
The old age infirmities of knee replacements, then diabetes, then dementia and many falls certainly took their toll on her body, spirit, demeanor and personality. But the loving, giving person that she truly was, her melodious voice, her infectious laughter, lively story-telling, and her downright bossiness at times will be truly missed by those who knew her and loved her. Her parents, a brother Dennis, and a brother-in-law Gary Schulte preceded her in death.
Also surviving are her siblings; Carl (Jill) Smalley, Robert (Lynn) Smalley, Patty Schulte, Linda (Gary) Sheneman, sister-in-law Kaye Smalley and grandchildren; Rachel, Joanna, and Noah Clausing and Eva and Abigail Masters, as well as many nieces, nephews, and in-laws.
Funeral services will be held 12:00 p.m. (Noon) on Saturday, September 10, 2022, at St. John’s Lutheran Church at 181 W. Main St. in Peru, with Pastor Kenneth Greenwald officiating. Burial will follow at St. John’s Lutheran Cemetery on the west side of Peru.
Visitation will be from 10:00 a.m. until noon on Saturday, at St. John’s.
A preferred memorial would be something at St. John’s Lutheran Church but any remembrance, even a tip of the hat to a lady who tried to make the world just a little happier place would be appreciated.
McClain Funeral Home, Denver, indiana, has been entrusted with arrangements. Condolences may be sent online at www.mcclainfh.com.