by Julie Gabell
Born in Elma, N. Y., Ann Sherman was one of five energetic children who kept their parents on their toes 24/7. A product of a loving environment, she thrived in her early years and excelled in whatever task she undertook.
Always eager to learn, she was apprenticed while she was in high school to a German cook who had started her own restaurant. Because Ann knew how to keep her counsel, she soon earned the respect of her employer. This bond was further reinforced when it was learned that Ann had steadfastly refused to reveal the restaurant’s secret recipe for a signature cabbage salad. The two women became friends and, as a result, Ann was entrusted with many of her mentor’s “secrets of the trade.”
She met and married David Sherman in 1959. From day one, they were a team, a partnership that has lasted throughout 57 years of marriage. Together they built a successful auto parts inventory business, though motherhood put a temporary halt to Ann’s key involvement as company auditor.
The Sherman’s had two children: son, Bryant and daughter, Linda. While they were still in school, Ann took a continuing education course in the art of cake decorating. Later she taught a comparable course to High School students in the Buffalo area. Her class became so popular that she was asked to give a demonstration on television.
A close-knit family who enjoyed traveling together, the Shermans came to Florida on a vacation trip in 1974. It was then that they discovered Beacon Woods, fell in love with the pristine surroundings, and decided to stay.
Once the family settled, Dave and Ann invested in a small coffee shop in Hudson. Ann worked in the bakery and specialized in wedding cakes; Dave was donut “guru.” The A Quality Bakery with its hometown baked goods and bread, soon became known for its Swedish rye bread and friendly ambiance. In 1981 the shop was commissioned to supply goodies for the official opening of the Regional Medical Center, then Bayonet Point Hospital.
In 1989, the couple sold the bakery and set out to see the world. This they did with much planning and great enthusiasm, though by the time of their return, they had “been there, done that” to the point of exhaustion.
Now the problem for the energetic Ann became, What shall I do for the rest of my life?
It was not long before she found out. The administrator of a local nursing home asked her to work with them. Hesitant at first, she finally signed on as a cook. At this time, she also took certification courses in dietary management and later accepted a position as dietary manager.
In 2007 Ann retired for the second time. But now her interests had done a complete about face. She became fascinated with butterflies and began to study and ear them. She collected their eggs, traced the butterfly life cycle, studied their habits and habitat, and became well versed in all things butterfly. Her husband, a staunch supporter from the outset, went into the “construction business,” building nurseries and overseeing the project’s progress.
Ann‘s fascination with butterflies is contagious. She is passionate about the need to tune in to the wonders of our environment and believes in the personal gratification found in discovering beauty in the ordinary things that surround us. “Butterflies are free and charm us with the magic of color, variety, and form,” she says. “Their graceful allure lifts us beyond ourselves to see specialness in little things.”
Throughout Ann’s life her motto has been “If I don’t know it, I can learn it,” thus making her a fascinating woman of multiple interests. With her current crusade for butterflies, she brings to Beacon Woods a unique touch of beauty that is sometimes hard to find in today’s busy world.
Beacon Woods Civic Association, Inc.
12440 Clocktower Parkway
Bayonet Point, FL 34667
Fax (727) 863-4857
2016 Board of Directors
President - Peggy Weiss
Vice President - Jim Massey
Secretary - Iggy Rodriguez
Treasurer- Ken Smith
Director - Ron Hubbs
Director - John Gearity
Director - Bill Bunting
Director - Bill Wiser