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Former corrections official Richard Sherman dies at 47.

Byline: Matt Cooper The Register-Guard

A memorial service is planned for Monday for Richard Sherman, former health services manager for Lane County corrections, who died Wednesday night of pancreatic cancer at Sacred Heart Medical Center. He was 47.

During his 20-year career as an advocate for offenders with mental illness and drug addiction, Sherman was a skilled and passionate pioneer of efforts that would be copied statewide, former county Sheriff Jan Clements said.

Earlier this month, officials dedicated the new Richard K. Sherman Defender & Offender Management Center at the jail. Sherman was critical to the development there of criteria used to predict offenders' future behaviors and propensity for violence, said John Clague, former commander of the corrections division.

"He really was able to cut through a lot of the mystery about alcoholism and mental illness for those in the criminal justice system," Clague said. "He also was a man of very high integrity. If Richard Sherman said it was so, it was so."

Sherman, of Eugene, was born May 24, 1957, in Chicago, to Norton and Beryl Sherman. Following Norton's death when Richard was 6 years old, Beryl married Morris Rothstein, and the couple raised Sherman and his siblings.

Sherman graduated from Lewis and Clark College in Portland in 1979 and earned a master's degree in psychology from the University of Oregon. He then joined the Lane County sheriff's department and stayed almost 20 years, retiring last year due to his illness.

"He was extremely sensitive to those who are incapable of fending for themselves in the system," Clements said.

"He brought not only the professional pieces and the expertise pieces together, he also brought the humanity piece into full play."

Sherman was just as passionate about fatherhood, said Sanford Sherman, Richard's twin brother, of Laguna Beach, Calif. Richard Sherman took his son, Ryan, 11, and daughter, Kelsey, 10, on regular camping trips or vacations in the San Juan Islands.

He worked sensitively and honestly with them for months to ensure that they could cope with his death.

"They're doing remarkably well, due to all of his preparation, and preparing them for that moment," said Sanford Sherman.

"For him, that was the hardest thing about dying - leaving his children behind. Then he went and dealt with it exceptionally well, anyway."

Other survivors include sisters Sherri Cunial of Agoura Hills, Calif., Karen Quest of San Francisco, and Sheri Lynn Rothstein, of Van Nuys, Calif.; and another brother, Howard Rothstein, of Citrus Heights, Calif.

Hundreds are expected to attend Monday's public memorial service, tentatively planned for about noon at a site to be determined.

A public graveside service with recognition by the sheriff's office will follow, tentatively at 3 p.m., at Rest-Haven Memorial Park, 3900 S. Willamette St.
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Title Annotation:Vitals; He is remembered as a skilled advocate for inmates with mental health issues
Publication:The Register-Guard (Eugene, OR)
Date:Apr 29, 2005
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