The Hancock-Henderson Quill, Inc.

Meet Your Neighbor

by Jenna Clayton, Quill Reporter

Meet your neighbor Sheri Merry, born in Olney and raised in Newton. She is the daughter of Harlan and Marilyn Kocher.

She has a total of six siblings, three sisters and three brothers, born the fifth child in her family.

She grew up in a small community very similar to Carthage, the town she currently resides in.

Her father was a farmer and later got a full time job as a rural mail carrier.

Sheri's mother stayed home taking care of the children. Her family's budget, growing up, was tight and there was always work to do, she said. Her family raised their own animals and tended large gardens.

She was raised Catholic and attended a local Catholic school.

Her fondest childhood memories are running around with her siblings, barefoot, playing and laughing. She remembers being the "guinea pig" to many "experiments gone wrong".

Sheri always wanted her brothers and sisters to let her play with them so that gave them the right to keep her as their guinea pig to many crazy childhood schemes. She recalls her parents being strict, but very loving.

Sheri graduated from high school in 1985 and Easter Illinois University in "89 with a degree in Psychology. She was married that summer, then attended Indiana State University and received her Masters of Education.

In 1990, Merry and her husband Neal moved to Carthage after he graduated from the Illinois Police Academy and transferred to District 14.

Sheri is a 4-H Youth Development Educator, and works with programs that encourage hands-on learning and activities.

She helps youth develop life skills that will be very useful in their futures. She works with programs such as Hancock County Youth Leadership Academy, Welcome to the Real World, Character Education/ Social and Emotional Learning programs, and RISK Simulation.

She previously was a licensed Clinical Professional Counselor.

She and her husband now have two children, sixteen-year-old Trisha and twelve-year-old Dalton.

She enjoys scrapbooking, making greeting cards, candles, and home-making.

Her favorite times, she explains, are those when her and her husband can take their kids out exploring and having fun. They love to watch movies and go on vacations together. Her very favorite hobby of all is shopping.

The most memorable moments that flood Merry's mind are those of her family growing up, "Mostly enjoyable, some sad and even some scary!" The major times and keeps close to her heart are her wedding day and the birth of her children.

She explains, "One thing I can say I will never forget is the message I receive from these experiences in our lives, and that is to be thankful for every moment."