This year, Jean Sherman is being thrown a giant birthday bash and everyone’s invited.
It’s Sherman’s 100th birthday.
The public celebration begins at noon at Coupeville Town Park on Coveland Street. Sherman will ride in the back seat of a convertible, slowly looping around the perimeter of the park, greeting people as she rides along. Then, there will be cake, drinks and a concert by the All Island Community Band — bring your own lawn chairs. Mayor Molly Hughes will be there to make a few remarks.
Sherman was born on Aug. 5, 1918, on Prince Edward Island, Canada. At the age of 13, she and her parents moved to Coupeville.
“In two days, I knew most of the people in town and I loved Coupeville and I’ve loved it ever since,” Jean Sherman said of the move.
Sherman attended Coupeville High School, where she was a cheerleader and played for the school’s basketball and tennis teams. When she was 19 years old, she married her husband of 58 years, Edwin Sherman.
“I couldn’t have asked for a better family to marry into,” Sherman said. “I’m sure glad my parents moved here because I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else.”
Together, they had three children, Marilyn, Dale and Vin. For 25 years, she worked as an Island County assistant treasurer.
“She’s a really special person and this is a good way for a lot of people to meet her at once,” said Marilyn Sherman Clay, Jean Sherman’s daughter.
Sherman has been heavily involved in the community, participating in multiple local organizations including the Whidbey Golf Club, the Navy League, Coupeville Girl Scouts, 4-H, local bridge clubs and a group that helped raise funds for the hospital. She and her husband also donated 100 acres of land to become part of the Ebey’s Landing National Historical Reserve.
“I don’t feel 100,” Sherman said. “I never did anything special or wonderful, I just lived my life.”
Clay created a fundraising campaign called “$100 for 100 years” to give a donation to the group Friends of Ebey’s Landing National Historical Reserve in Sherman’s name as a surprise. So far, the effort has received between 50 and 100 donations, Clay said.
Clay is looking forward to seeing people gather in celebration and said people are stopping by from places as far a Texas, California and Idaho, and she thinks there will be about 300 people there.
“We’re buying a lot of cake,” she said.
“She has been a driving force in all of our lives,” Clay said of her and her two brothers. “She keeps the humor in our lives. Even at the age of 100, she is a wonderful, caring mother.”
And the centenarian is in good health too.
“I think she got there from positive thinking, keeping a positive outlook always,” Clay said.
“I was raised to always look at the best side of life,” Sherman said.
“My cup is not half-empty, it’s half-full. That’s what’s kept me feeling pretty good.”