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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.

Online Condolences

  1. Tommy Mather says:

    As a childhood and adolescent friend, I’m profoundly saddened. Some of my fondest memories in my youth are of all the Hargrett family and my days in Screven. Bless you Cheryl Gail and may you Rest In Peace. Condolences and love to all the family.

  2. Frances Mosley Locklear says:

    Sorry to hear about Cherry. I worked for your Dr. Hargrett in Screven for years & knew all of the kids. My prayers to the family.

  3. Mary W. Henderson says:

    My love, thoughts and prayers go out to the family. I knew Cherry in a secondhand sort of way-being friends with young McKee & having ‘Miss Hargrett’ as my teacher. Reconnecting some 49 years later, my love & friendship included sweet Cherry as well. An extraordinary woman, kind, a strong warrior. She will be greatly missed on this Earth.
    Be at Peace, Cherry

  4. Georgia Ayn Priester says:

    Cherry was the best person I’ve ever known. She was kind, patient, self-sacrificing, smart, funny, loyal, and had more integrity than anyone I’ve ever met. She was a beautiful person inside and out and I’m going to miss her. My condolences to all the family.

  5. Beth Calhoun Wade says:

    This makes me so sad. My brother, John, had such a crush on Cherry when he was about 11. They went to a dance at the school. Bless all of you.

  6. Nancy Cunningham says:

    My condolences to Cherry’s family, especially to Lucy. I know you will miss your sister, Lucy. You always spoke of her so fondly.

  7. Lanier Anderson Lee says:

    Lucy, McKee, MAC and families so sorry for your loss. Cherry will definitely be missed by all. The Hargrett family always held a special spot in our family’s life, from birthing me, playing together, to keeping us all healthy. My brother Oquinn and I are praying for your comfort during this time. Remember the good times and Cherry will be right there with you laughing too.
    Love and blessings.

  8. Drew and Nancy Early says:

    Our condolences to the entire family; her time of suffering has ended but you can treasure her memories forever.

  9. Martha Joyner Bedel says:

    My sincere condolences to the family. As learning I am a distance cousin and am very sorry I didn’t know MS Cherry. I know Lucy and Stephen. I was a patient of Dr. Hargrett in my teenage years. Praying for your families.

  10. Douglas Vaught says:

    Dr Hargrett was a mentor, Cherry was a amazing person who blessed the world with grace and kindness, she was surrounded by family of intelligence and love. Personal loss to many of us left behind.

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