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1952 Sherman 2022

Sherman English McAlpin

September 5, 1952 — April 30, 2022

Sherman English McAlpin (09/05/1952-04/30/2022) passed away unexpectedly of sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) at Fort Belvoir Community Hospital, VA.

Sherm was born at George Washington University Hospital in Washington D.C. His parents were Harry Sylvester McAlpin Jr. (07/21/1906-07/18/1985) – the first black White House Correspondent (1944) among many other notable accomplishments – and Alicia (Berry) McAlpin (06/24/1908-10/05/1983), a direct descendant of Robert E. Lee, raised by Sherman Daniel Berry and Mary V (Duvall) Berry, owner/operators of the Dew Drop Inn, Leesburg, VA. He had two sisters Alicia (Rudy) Thompson (1928-2008), Las Vegas, NV (Talley (Brookes) Holmes, Valen Thompson, & Melanie (Steve) Jacobson) and Peggy (Thurman) Turnbow (b. 12/17/1930-), Silver Spring, MD (Lynda Washington & Robin Johnson). Sherman was about three years old when he and his family moved to Anchorage, KY and then later to Los Angeles, CA, where he finished high school at Susan Miller Dorsey Senior High School.

Sherm graduated from the U.S. Air Force Academy in 1974 with a bachelor’s degree in International Relations. He accomplished a full and storied active-duty Air Force career holding various assignments – as a Missile Officer stationed at F.E. Warren AFB, WY and Vandenberg AFB, CA from 1974-1982; a Staff Plans Officer; Headquarters, U.S. European Command, Operations Directorate (J-3), Stuttgart-Vaihingen, Germany (07/1982-07/1985); traveled to Russia in 1985 on a personal excursion; then back to missiles as a Staff Plans Officer at the 485th TMW, Florennes AB, Belgium (07/1985-07/1986); a Strategic Missile Squadron Operations Officer at the 10th SMS, Malmstrom AFB, MT (07/1986-07/1989); a Program Analyst, Headquarters, United States Air Force, Programs & Resources Directorate, Pentagon VA (06/1989-04/1992); Operations Staff Officer, Headquarters, Armed Forces Inaugural Committee, Operations Directorate (J-3), Washington D.C. (04/1992-01/1993); a Squadron Executive Officer, 1100th Logistics Squadron, Bolling AFB, DC (01/1993-07/1994) – and retired as a Major (04) after 20 years of service. Upon retirement, he dabbled in temp work; made a valiant effort to grow a contracting business (Xtreme Concepts Systems) with friend and mentor Carmel Alasagas, followed by working as a contractor for various companies like Booz Allen Hamilton and L-3 (Titan) Corporation – always in support of various military initiatives generally involving Information Technology support – eventually obtaining a full-time government service position in 2010 working for the Department of the Navy, where he worked until his death. He also attended the National Defense University and completed the 50th Advanced Management Program (Washington D.C., 2015). He was a military guy, through-and-through.

Sherm had an early fascination with airplanes and learned to fly at seven years old. Other hobbies included horses – competing in horse shows and steeple chase racing as a youngster in Kentucky– which ultimately evolved into race car driving. One of his most-treasured accomplishments was when he competed in Formula Ford (entry-level class of single seater, open-wheel formula racing) in England and Europe.

Sherm met Joanne (Kathmann) while both were stationed at Florennes AB in Belgium. Sherman and Joanne were married in Denmark in July 1986. They had two children – Sasha Joanne McAlpin (b. 1989-) and Nigell Sherman McAlpin (b. 1992-). Sherm loved his family first and fiercely, always selflessly putting their wants and needs before his own. He enjoyed friends and neighbors immensely, relishing swapping stories and arguing politics. His other love was his MINI Cooper cars, MINI club members, and MINI activities. Many fond memories were made on MINI get-togethers and runs and tackling the twisties at MINIs On The Dragon (MOTD 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, and 2016) near Deals Gap in northwestern North Carolina. Keeping his two beloved MINIs – Ms. Peel and Mr. Steed – clean and sparkling was a never-ending labor of love for him, which led to a lot of research on all the latest and greatest car detailing supplies and equipment – many of which filled his garage.

Another source of great pride to Sherman was the opportunity to attend the 100th anniversary of the White House Correspondents Association (WHCA) dinner in 2014 where President Barack Obama made the announcement of the creation of a scholarship to honor his father, Harry S. McAlpin, for being a pioneer in journalism.

Sherman will be laid to rest at Arlington Military Cemetery (date pending) with full military honors. No other memorial services are planned. In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to a charity of your choice honoring military veterans or an organ transplant organization.

Many of the same words have been used as people talk about Sherm – kind, caring, thoughtful, smart, principled, and a loving family man. He was all that and so much more and he will be sorely missed. Godspeed Sherman.


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