Sherry Jan Miner

On Sunday, October 6th, 2019, Sherry Jan (Olson) Miner, loving mother and grandmother, passed away peacefully at the age of 77 in Grand Rapids, Minnesota.

Sherry was born in October of 1942, in Wabana Township, to Reuben and Nina Olson. She received her Master’s Degree in Music Education from the University of Minnesota – Twin Cities. Sherry taught music in the elementary schools of the Burnsville School District from 1973 - 1982. She then moved to Texas and joined American Express Travel, working with them until she retired in 1997. Sherry married Jon Miner; they had two sons, Mark and Jay Miner.

Sherry was preceded in death by her parents, father Reuben Olson and mother Nina (Powers) Olson, half-brother Palmer Olson, half-sisters Marian (Olson) Challgren and Phyllis Oliver. She is survived in death by her son Mark Miner, daughter-in-law Kim Miner, grandchildren Shelby Miner and Mathew Miner, her son Jay Miner, Connie Ziemski, grandchildren Lexi Miner, Ben Miner, Bailey Ziemski, and Ben Ziemski, as well as her former husband Jon Miner, his wife Pamela Miner, and several extended family members.

Sherry was born on a farm on Wabana Lake and often talked about the joys of her early life, where she developed a love and respect for nature. She became a champion for the environment, working with local groups to better protect our natural resources. In retirement, during the summer months, along with her sons and their families, she managed the family resort, WA-GA-THA-KA on Wabana Lake. There, she was able to carry out her love of nature by working to protect the lakes in the area.

Throughout her time with American Express, Sherry was able to travel the world and see many of the places she dreamed of, telling stories that inspired her family to travel, too. She also had a love for music and education, and, even after retirement, she continued to share that love by teaching her grandchildren and neighborhood children how to play the piano.

Sherry had a big heart and was an adopter of strays (both cats and people) and was always quick to lend a helping hand (and stern advice) to anyone who needed it (or didn’t). She was the President of the Grand Rapids Lions Club and volunteered for many of their worthy projects. She was a renowned gourmet chef, gardener and grower of unique vegetables, bird watcher, and avid Mahjong player. Above all, she had a fierce love for her family and was immensely proud of her children and grandchildren. She was equally loved by them and will be deeply missed.

Sherry requested that there be no formal service. If you want to celebrate her life in some way, she requested memorial donations be made to the Lions Club of Grand Rapids, the American Cancer Society, or the Children’s Museum of Grand Rapids.