Wayne County’s first woman deputy sheriff passes away. Death overcame our brave warrior, Cheryl “Cherry” Gail Hargrett, at 3 p.m., Tuesday February 18, 2020, in Savannah, surrounded by her family and friends.
Cherry was born on January 8, 1944 by lamp light on her grandparent’s Yeoman farm in Screven, Georgia to nurse and legendary beauty, Doris Lorraine Miller Hargrett and boy wonder, physician and ace aviator in the Royal Canadian Air Force and U.S. Air Corps in World War II, Dr. McKee Hargrett II. At the age of 10, Cheryl entered Mount de Sales Academy Convent Boarding School for Girls in Macon, Georgia, where she was called “The Littlest Angel.” A noted beauty, Cherry served on homecoming courts and was voted “Georgia’s Most Beautiful” by the Atlanta newspaper.
Cherry is survived by her poet-musician daughter, Theodora Lucille “Lucy” Erickson, and women’s collections archivist daughter, Cheryl Christian “Chrisy” Erickson Strum, both of Atlanta; her champion baseball star grandson, Zain McKee Abrouch of Atlanta; her sisters, Lucy Hargrett Draper of Atlanta and McKee Hargrett Hamilton of Savannah; her brother, Mac Hargrett III of Baltimore, Maryland, and nieces, educator Jessie Draper of Athens and animal rights activist, Kate McKee Hamilton-Taljaard of Savannah.
Cherry attended Loyola University in New Orleans, and graduated Magna Cum Laude from Georgia Southern University in the Governor’s Honors Program with a B.S. in Criminal Justice. Her career began in a New York City Wall Street firm. Upon her return to Georgia, Cherry became the first woman deputy sheriff of Wayne County under the Riley Reddish Administration. She was an expert markswoman who was number one in her police academy graduating class. Cherry’s community service included the position of Executive Director of the Mental Health Association. She established programs to protect abused women and children, and she fostered abused children in her home. She implemented the Employee Assistance Programs of ITT Rayonier and the Wayne Memorial Hospital, and was a policy professional while serving on the Advisory Board at Georgia Regional Hospital, Savannah. Cherry completed her career with the police department of Norfolk Railway Corp., one of six women of over 260 certified police officers.
At the end of her life, Cherry was asked “What was your greatest accomplishment?” She answered, “I was a mother and grandmother.”
Family pallbearers include Zain McKee Abrouch, Said Abrouch, Mac Hargrett III, Dr. Stephen E. Draper, Lee Strum, William Henry Miller II, Paul Hargrett, Alwyn Taljaard, and Tommy Eve.
Close friends pallbearers include Randall “Randy” Booker, Andy Browne, Drew Bowen, Ned Gay, Patricia Ann Roberts, Ty Erickson, and her children’s father, Ronald Eugene Erickson.
Her Honor Guard includes George Ketchup, Darrell Johnson, Casey Young and Verlando “Champ” Waller.
Cherry’s daughters Lucy and Chrisy and grandson, Zain, will host a memorial celebration from 10 until 11:30 Saturday morning, February 22, 2020, at Gamble Funeral Service – 410 Stephenson Avenue.
On Sunday, February 23, 2020, Cherry’s sisters will hold a service at 1:30 PM at Christ Church Frederica – 6329 Frederica Road, St. Simons Island, Georgia. Interment will follow.