Commercial Record

Sherlynn Coupe, 81

Sherlynn Anne (Smith) Coupe, 81, of Saugatuck-Douglas died Monday afternoon, June 6, 2022, at the Cove Health Facility.
Sherlynn (Sherry) was born on Aug. 19, 1940 in Everett, Wash. She was the eldest of four children born to Stanley and Sonna (Probst) Smith. Sherry’s family lived in Everett, Seattle, Bethesda, Md., and Western Springs, Ill., and landed in Saugatuck in 1951.
One of Sherry’s first jobs was babysitting for neighbors on the lakeshore. Soon after that she began to work for the hotel at Coral Gables, eventually meeting Edward Lark while she was working the hotel desk and he was coming to Saugatuck for weekends to tend bar. Sherry and Ed were married in May of 1964.
Sherry earned a Bachelor’s degree in Occupational Therapy from Western Michigan University, worked for Easter Seals and Kan-Du, and also ran her own knit shop (Harbor Knits) on the first floor of the building on Culver Street known as the Loaf and Mug in the 1980s, later as Hercules and now Coast 236.
Sherry and Ed had three children: Julianne, Christopher and Ryan. At the arrival of the second child, Sherry shifted from working as an OT to working as a full-time mother and community volunteer/organizer.
She worked with the KC Miller Guild and board of Douglas Community Hospital. A related project was her leadership in the group that did the original needs assessment and grant writing for the construction of the Harbors Health Care Facility in Douglas (later the Cove, where she was a resident at the end of her life).
Due to her vision with that group, many of us have been able to keep our loved ones in care that is easily accessible in the last chapters of their lives.
As a member of All Saints’ Church in the 1970s, she served on the search committee for the new rector and on the vestry. When her youngest needed local childcare, she joined with other mothers to form the Lakeshore Cooperative Nursery School, housed at All Saints Church.
More recently, Sherry was a regular at Saugatuck-Douglas Rotary and Saugatuck-Douglas Historical Society (now History Center). She loved that the plan to buy the Old School House was a success.
Sherry enjoyed building model train layouts, garden club, landscape projects (including ponds), miniatures and all things pertaining to Oval Beach and Lake Michigan.
She adored harbor town, from the Saugatuck Center for the Arts to Music in the Park to the Venetian Festival, anything with a parade or fireworks or food trucks. She loved the unique flavor of small-town hospitality mixed with a steady flow of cosmopolitan creativity and diversity via the visitors who often fell in love and became locals over the years.
Sherry earned her real estate license in the late 1970s and worked in real estate alongside jobs selling medical equipment and working as an OT in Berrien County. She was enthusiastic about selling houses, but even more enthusiastic about selling the experience of Saugatuck-Douglas and the wonders of living here, winter, spring, summer or fall.
Sherry is survived by three children Julianne (Janet), Christopher and Ryan (Jody); her sister Sondy; brother, Steve (Lindsay); nieces Nicole Suman (Steve), Cara Ayers-Brown, Danielle Morris (Patrick), Laurie Smith, Lisa Smith, Berkeley Shumaker; nephews Trever Collins and Hunter Smith.
She was preceded in death by her father Stanley, mother Sonna (Probst), sister (Suzanne) and her nephew (Sutton).
Her family will remember her for her zany creativity (the year she used the Sawzall to cut a tunnel through the wall for her train so it could do a loop around the Department 56 Christmas village on the mantle). She had an eye for repurposing found objects, creating food to be eaten on toothpicks, adding curry to anything and canning bathtubs full of pickles, peaches, tomatoes and apples (for applesauce).
Details about a Celebration of Life for Sherry will be announced on Facebook (see Ryan Lark’s page) and in The Commercial Record.
In lieu of flowers, please send contributions to the Saugatuck-Douglas Rotary Club, Saugatuck Center for the Arts or Benjamin’s Hope (Holland).

4 Replies to “Sherlynn Coupe, 81

  1. I never had the pleasure of meeting this dear lady but I know her son Ryan and Jody. Ryan is a great guy so reading her obituary I can see why he loves the town of Saugatuck. Rest In Peace dear lady. A life well lived.

  2. My deepest sympathy to Ryan and the rest of the family. I worked with Sherry in Grand Rapids through my private practice when she worked as an OT with injured workers. She was an amazing woman and professional. I admired her courage and grit, her beauty and her intelligence. May her soul find peace. God bless you Sherry.

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