McCrabb: Middletown treasure, Scout leader eyes 110th birthday

That dash between Sept. 12, 1916, when Everett West Sherron was born in Paducah, Ky., and when he dies — the day this world looses a treasure — has been filled with a lifetime of achievements.

The Middletown man recently celebrated his 100th birthday, and days later, is still attending luncheons in his honor. There are inflated balloons, pictures of him posing with Boy Scouts and stacks of birthday cards in his living room and bedroom.

“Every day has been a party,” Sherron said with a smile while sitting in his Oxford Street home.

Sherron has done more than live 100 years. He has touched the lives of thousands of people, many of them impressionable Boy Scouts.

And Sherron isn’t about to stop.

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He’s a man who likes to set, and achieve, goals. That’s the Scout Way. He wants to live to be 110.

If you’ve spent any time with Sherron — and if you haven’t, that’s your loss — you wouldn’t bet against this man. Consider that he just stopped driving a few weeks ago, still attends Boy Scout meetings, organizes the Boy Scout’s annual holiday greenery sale that generates $5,000, ushers at First Methodist Church, and volunteers at the Middletown Historical Society Canal Museum on Sundays.

He uses a walker, wears hearing aids, but his memory is loud and clear. He rattles off dates and addresses like he’s reading from a script. All without referring to his cell phone.

No wonder 100 is the new 90.

For about 70 of those years, Sherron and the Boy Scouts have been synonymous, first when he joined on Sept. 12, 1928 until 1937 when he attended college, and then from September 1955 when his son, John, became a Boy Scout until present.

He made Eagle Scout in 1932 and is in the Order of the Arrow. As an adult, he received the Silver Beaver Award and two district awards of merit. He has won every award the Scouts ever presented. He was assistant scoutmaster and scoutmaster of Troop 18 and is serving as committee chairman for Troop 718.

Sherron said he learned many life skills in scouting, including first aid and cooking, which was important after his wife, Louise, died on Feb. 28, 1988, their 46th wedding anniversary. He still prepares his own meals, though his menu consists of soft foods that are easier to swallow.

His family moved to Middletown in 1927 when his father, Emmett Sherron, became Boy Scout Executive. The tradition his father started, Sherron is continuing.

They moved to Camp Hook in June of 1930 and he attended Carlisle High School his freshman and sophomore years. During the Depression, his dad became executive of the YMCA. In October 1932, as the times became more difficult, his dad lost his job although the family was allowed to live at Camp Hook.

They returned to Middletown where Sherron graduated from Middletown High School in 1934. It’s about time for their 82nd MHS class reunion. Don’t laugh. Sherron probably is the organizer.

He worked at Kroger during his senior year, then worked there after he graduated while he took night courses at University of Cincinnati. Then in February 1936, he started working at Wrenn Paper Co. in the testing department. He was at Wrenn until he enrolled in 1937 at Miami University where he majored in economics, graduating in June 1941.

He was hired on at Wright Aeronautical in Lockland and that worked deferred until November 1943. He was drafted and was sent to Navy boot camp. He was discharged after a couple of weeks because of earlier sinus surgery.

Sherron went back to Wright Aeronautical and worked until the end of World War II. He worked for Shartle Brothers, later Black Clawson, for 35 years, retiring in 1981. He was 65.

Sherron said as a younger man, he tried a few cigarettes, and stopped drinking beer decades ago. Clean living is healthy, he said. Then his daughter, Anne Lapham, 71, of Monroe, who was sitting in the same room, said her father also is spiritually sound.

He has three children: John, 72, of Columbus, Doug, 68, of New York, and Anne, plus nine grandchildren.

Lapham called her father “a role model” because of the way he has lived his life, always putting others first, even if that sometimes upset his wife.

“We are really blessed to have him around, especially this healthy,” she said, wiping away tears. “You won’t find a better person. He’s one of the good guys.”

She was asked about her relationship with her dad. That brought a smile to her face. There were mornings, she said, when she’d ask him what she should wear to school. His answer was always the same: that red dress.

“One problem,” Lapham said. “I didn’t have a red dress.”

He’s the oldest of four children, and the only one still living. His dad died at 76; his mother at 83.

His secret to a long life?

“Stay away from doctors,” he said.

When he saw me writing that down, he grabbed my arm: “Of course I’m kidding.”

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