It is with heavy hearts that we share with you that our beloved friend and colleague, Sheryl Dorton, has passed. She was a bright star in the Worksystems sky, and we will miss her profoundly.

Sheryl, our SNAP Coordinator and Office Manager, originally joined the Worksystems team in 2013 as our Receptionist. Sheryl’s presence at our front desk was always warm and welcoming, and her priority was ensuring that everyone had the best experience possible. Sheryl put in extra time and energy to making the office lively and bright by bringing in and taking care of our office plants; coordinating all the small details that help meetings and office gatherings run smoothly; and taking employee needs into account in keeping the office and kitchen stocked. Her blend of humor, enthusiasm, and unstoppable positivity, along with her obvious competence, soon made her a favorite not only of her teammates but of the SNAP program partners with whom she worked in the community. When she was on the job, Sheryl charmed everyone she knew and never failed to put people at ease, whether they were visitors to the office or new members of the team. Off the clock, she loved traveling, sewing and crocheting, spending time with her family, and riding all-terrain vehicles (“I drive too fast!” she said once). 

Everyone at Worksystems has a story about Sheryl – about how she made them feel welcome, how she went out of her way to be helpful, or how she focused on the happiness and well-being of others. Here are some recollections from her colleagues, in their own words: 

“My favorite memories of Sheryl were all from when I was a contractor. At the time, I didn’t know how funding works, nor did I really understand what Worksystems was. I only knew that when I had to come to Worksystems, it was about something stressful like contracting or performance management. Sheryl was so welcoming and kind — her energy was the exact opposite to my stress and anxiety about being in a funder’s office. Without even trying, she brought a level of humanity and  connection to everyone who interacted with her.”  

“Sheryl made a very meaningful impression on me when she took the time to send a message when I expressed uncertainty about an all-staff presentation I had just given. Her feedback was thoughtful, specific, and personal. She helped me see that my work was important and impactful in a way that I couldn’t see in that moment.  She embodied the values of service, respect, kindness and generosity. I’m grateful for her gesture, and it will stay with me as a reminder to do to the same for others.” 

“We talked last at the office; she was helping with coffee and items around an in-person meeting. I commented on how she always gave off a positive vibe — she just smiled that radiant smile of hers. She was always helpful and a breeze to be around.” 

“Sheryl was a bright light. She found the positive in every situation and always had the best attitude. She genuinely loved Worksystems and her co-workers and that shone through in all that she did.” 

“Sheryl was my sounding board about many things. She lived close to me and I would take her home on occasion, where we could talk about personal things, not just work. She also came to my home for parties and would bring her handiwork for my daughters — baby blankets, hats, etc. My friends outside of work enjoyed her company and she became a part of my girl group!”  

“When I arrived, Sheryl and I had a lovely conversation about our Southern roots. As a new employee, she became my go-to person for everyday things not covered during onboarding, like finding coffee filters, setting up technology in the conference rooms, locating the projector screen, and knowing where to discard empty boxes at the office for recycling. I am happy I got to work with Sheryl. Her dedication to her work and care for our staff and office were unparalleled.” 

“One of my fondest memories of Sheryl was at our holiday party. We were setting things up and some of us were enjoying the adult beverages (Sheryl didn’t drink), and she pulled me aside and asked if I needed her to do something, because ‘You girls are drinking,’ and ‘Well, you know.’ I lost it and laughed so hard — we all cracked up, especially Sheryl.”  

“Sheryl would do anything she could to help someone, in or out of the office.  She helped me with a special gift some years ago. I had come across a vest in my yarn stash that my sister had started knitting before she passed away. I knew Sheryl was talented at crochet, so I asked her if there was something she could do with it.  She took the piece and made it into a beautiful throw that I gave to my mother for Christmas that year. Mom keeps the throw on the back of her favorite living room chair, and one day I’ll get to have it on the back of one of my chairs — holding the memory of both my sister and Sheryl.” 

“Sheryl came to us as a participant in one of our programs, and I think because of that experience, she became one of the most passionate and mission driven members of our team.” 

To commemorate Sheryl, and to carry forward her spirit of love and kindness, we have arranged for two trees to be planted in her honor. 

We will share details about a memorial service when they are available. 

Comments are closed.

Close Search Window