Jack Sherry, 1954 Final Four team captain, passes away

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- Jack Sherry, a two-sport athlete at Penn State and captain of the 1954 Nittany Lion men's basketball team that reached the Final Four, died Monday in a Philadelphia area hospital. He was 81.

Sherry walked onto the freshman basketball team in 1950-51 and went on to become a team captain as a senior in 1954. Along with All-American Jesse Arnelle, he led the Nittany Lions to the Final Four that season, where they fell to La Salle in the semifinals before going on to beat Southern California in the third-place game.

Penn State knocked off Toledo, Louisiana State and Notre Dame to reach the semifinals in Kansas City, Mo. Sherry averaged 7.4 points through the five NCAA tournament games, including a personal postseason-best 14 in the East Regional Final vs. Notre Dame at Iowa.

The West Philadelphia native came to Penn State in 1950 on a football scholarship, playing offensive end and defensive back and setting the school record for interceptions at eight, a mark which stood until 1969. As a senior,

Sherry graduated from Penn State with a labor studies degree and went on to serve two years in the Navy. Following his time in the service, he worked for the American Seating Co., in Grand Rapids, Mich., before returning to the Philadelphia area in the early 1980s to start REM Systems Inc., a manufacturing sales representative group.

Sherry is survived by five siblings: Joan Hunt of Drexel Hill; Maryann Snow of Havertown; Patrick Sherry of Oceanview, Del.; Rosemarie Maguire of Avondale; and Joseph Sherry of Medford.

He also is survived by five children: Jack P. Sherry of Iowa City, Iowa; Susan Sherry Fox of LaGrange, Ill.; Michael Sherry of Rapid City, S.D.; Christine Murray of Chatham, N.J.; and Stephen Sherry of Elko, Minn. He also is survived by 14 grandchildren.

A Mass will be offered at 10 a.m. Monday at St. Andrew the Apostle Church in Drexel Hill, with burial to follow at Holy Sepulchre Cemetery in Philadelphia. Friends may call at the Donohue Funeral Home, 8401 West Chester Pike in Upper Darby, from 6 to 9 p.m. Sunday.  

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Last Updated April 04, 2014