About Sheryl

52 Comments on About Sheryl

  1. Meg Halford says:

    We will all miss our dear friend and colleague very much. Sheryl always had the most incredible spark and passion for everything she did. Perhaps there is a bit of solace knowing that she left this world doing what she loved to do and with John, whom she loved very much. My thoughts and support go out to John, her family and all of our mutual friends. We will carry your torch and live life as you would Sheryl.

  2. Greg Olson says:

    Sheryl was such an adventurous spirit. I enjoyed having her in my BMS class at the Colorado Mountain Club. I remember her coming down Mt.Morrison while training for a climb, she had on a pack about as big as her and a big smile and just bounding down the trail. She enjoyed every moment of the outdoors, meeting new people and always made you laugh. Your memory will always be with us. My sincere thoughts are with you John, as I can only imagine the feelings you have gone through. I raise my ice axe in memory of Sheryl.

  3. Brendan Oldham says:

    Sheryl’s constant smile, laughter, and endless enthusiasm will live on in anyone who knew her.
    Here are a few pictures of a recent CMC outing, for which she volunteered as a senior intructor. I especially like the picture of her sticking her tongue out at me for taking her picture!
    2011 CMC ACRS

  4. Sheryl was always there to say something positive, give a genuine smile, and make everyone around her love life in whatever moment they were in. One of my favorite memories was when we helped her move to her house. She had a giant bug pinned to a board and when I went to move it she said, “Be careful with that!” She truly saw the beauty in everyone and everything.

  5. Nancy Gillette says:

    Many of us in Forest Health Protection and FS Research have had the distinct privilege of working with Sheryl, and we will miss her terribly. I hope her family and friends know how beloved she was in our community. She was just so very bright, collegial, exuberant, energetic, hard-working, and fun-loving. Sheryl maintained the same high standard in both work and play, and I’m sure I’ve never known anyone who lived life more fully than Sheryl.
    We’re all better people for having had Sheryl in our lives, even for this too-brief time.

    • Adam Messing says:

      Though I only knew Sherly for a very brief period while assisting with a research project, she had a great impact on my outlook of life. She truly enjoyed the outdoors, and loved every minute she could spend there.

      I will never forget her or her infectious smile/attitude. I am a better person for knowing her…no matter how brief that time was. She is greatly missed.

  6. Kathy Sheehan says:

    Sheryl will be greatly missed by her forest entomology colleagues. Her high-energy, fun-loving, hard-working, and wise-cracking attitude was very inspiring to me. I also admired her dedication to her work – she tackled a wide range of problems, from bark beetles to defoliators to aspen decline … her breadth of knowledge was amazing! She was also great at balancing work with play and friends — I enjoyed hearing about her fabulous trips and adventures. Mostly, though, I’ll miss her big smile and exhuberance. My heart goes out to her family, John, and all her friends.

  7. Bill Ciesla says:

    I first became acquainted with Sheryl when she presented a seminar at CSU on her Master’s thesis. After her presentation, I sat with her in the hall while her thesis committee did their deliberations. Having once been there myself, I knew what she was going through and kept assuring her that all would be well. It was. A year or so later, when she joined the staff of the R-2, Lakewood FHP Field Office, we became aerial survey partners and flew as a team for two weeks a year. I remember when she finally was able to recognize the signature of spruce beetle faders. Once she got he hang of it, she found them faster than I did. Last year, she became fully qualified to conduct aerial surveys on her own and she had become quite good at it. She was a great colleague and a good friend. Pat and I both will miss her.

    Bill Ciesla
    FHMI, Fort Collims, CO

  8. Dawn (Staiert) Kirchmann says:

    I rowed with Sheryl at Creighton and unfortunately haven’t seen her since, but she is one of those people I have never forgotten and thought of often. As everyone has said, her big smile, kindness and generosity exceeded that of almost any other person I’ve known. I aspired to find the positive in all situations as I often remember her doing. She truly has touched many people. My heart, thoughts, and prayers are with all of her family and friends at this difficult time!

  9. Bobbe Fitzgibbon says:

    I was a defoliator entomologist and aerial surveyor with Region 3 FHP. I enjoyed seeing Sheryl at all the western meetings, not only was she an enthusiastic entomologist but a very happy, outgoing and interesting friend. We will all miss her positive outlook and energy; but most especially her love of life. My thoughts are with those who were closer to her and hope they will celebrate a life well lived and enjoyed.

  10. Dan Miller says:

    Sheryl loved her life with a passion. Her excitement and optimism about play, love and work were contagious. I first met Sheryl in Guadalajara, attending a Western Forest Insect Work Conference in 2003. She grilled me relentlessly on lures for her research in South Dakoto, sharing her excitment for reearch and forest health protection. More recently in 2009 at a WFIWC in Flagstaff, we talked about everything while watching the final basketball game of March madness. She was a bright star within the Forest Service and the community of forest entomologists. She will be sorely missed. My sincere condolences to her family and friends.

  11. Connie Mehmel says:

    Sheryl was a dear forest entomology colleague who will be missed by all of us. She had that rare combination of passion for work and joy in life that made everyone feel richer for being around her. We are all fortunate for having had her in our lives.

  12. Linda Crowe says:

    I was Sheryl’s Ft. Collins hairstylist. I always looked forward to her visits, and awesome adventure stories. My heart hurts at the loss of such a brilliant, sweet, busy woman. Of all the clients I’ve had over the years I can truly say I will not forget Sheryl’s happiness, her concern for others, and, ESPECIALLY her free spirit. Hugs to family, John, and all her friends.

  13. Carol Estes says:

    I’ve know Sheryl, well, since before she was born! She grew up directly across the street from our family. As an infant, Sheryl would have a bad hair period where upon Joyce would call me to come over and calm her down. As a young child she was always looking out for and after other children. We would get anywhere from 200 to 250 trick o’ treaters on halloween night. Once we had a crowd of children on our porch, among them Sheryl and Ann Marie. There was Sheryl making sure the smallest in the group go their treats and were able to descend the stairs safely. From there she developed into delightful young woman, knowing what she wanted and being able to map out a plan to achieve her goals. When told she didn’t have the muscle mass to join the rowing team at Creighton University, Sheryl went to the gym and worked out until she qualified for the team.

    Sheryl was a very vibrant, happy person. Although she never would have won a beauty contest, she had the inner beauty that just shone like a radiant light. Not knowing that my spring visit to Longmont in 2009 would be my last visit with her, I am so grateful we were able to spend some time together at her new townhouse.

    Sheryl, you will be missed but your spirit will always be with us.



  14. Minou Spradley says:

    My heart is broken as I cannot imagine the pain my good friends Joyce and Dave must be going through. By the time I joined Joyce on the faculty of San Diego City College Sheryl was in high school. Joyce would share stories of both her beloved girls with me, her office mate. I can imagine the number of time Sheryl or Ann Marie came to spend time in the office riding the tiny glass elevator to the top floor. May you find the strength to continue on my dear dear friends. Geoff and I think of you often and hold you both very dear.

    Love and hugs,


  15. Chris Peterson says:

    Sheryl was one of those people you felt like you’d known your entire life within five minutes of meeting her. Perhaps that was because of her openness and honesty; she lived her life on her terms for everyone to see. She and I were working on a project together, and although I only met her twice (but spoke oodles of times on the phone) I considered her a friend and her enthusiasm for life was contagious. She encouraged me to keep taking chances at a difficult time when I could have given up. Although nobody was ready for her to go yet, I hope all of us get to leave this world the way she did: with someone she loved doing something she loved.

  16. Reece Eddy says:

    Sheryl taught my nine year old Daughter a love for climbing. She was an inspiration to my family and a joy in our lives. Our hearts and prayers go out to John and Sheryls family. She was and awesome person and will be greatly missed. I believe she will live in the kingdom of God and continue to watch over us all, eagerly awaiting our return to her in heaven, where we can all laugh, climb, and play with her again. God bless you all.

  17. Bob Cain says:

    I had the pleasure of working with Sheryl in the Forest Health Group of the US Forest Service Rocky Mountain Region since 2005. She was a successful and committed professional who always brought enthusiasm, humor and energy to work with her. I can’t begin to express how much she is and will continue to be missed. She was loved and appreciated here and she will not be forgotten.

  18. Kitty Nix says:

    I had the pleasure of knowing Sheryl since we were small children. The Costellos are an extension of our family and I spent many a summer and Christmas holiday enjoying family events alongside Sheryl. Even then she radiated positive energy and determination. She most certainly will be in my thoughts for the duration as will Joyce, Dave, and Ann Marie.

  19. Carl Korfmacher says:

    I am John’s brother. I didn’t know Sheryl as well as most of the folks on this website. But I can testify that she was accepted and loved by our family and will be deeply missed. John’s pain was felt by all of us despite our short history with this remarkable woman. While John will never have the opportunity to grow old with her, we will keep her memory alive at family gatherings and raise a toast to her in remembrance for the rest of our lives.

  20. Jane Lingwood says:

    My husband and I had the pleasure of meeting Sheryl thru our daughter-in-law who worked with Sheryl in Ft. Collins. With great sadness we heard of her passing and send our condolences to her family and loved ones. She truely loved the great outdoors and lived life to the fullest. May her free spirit accompany all of us we love to climb the mountains.

  21. Ingrid Aguayo says:

    My dear colleague, house mate, but most of all wonderful friend. I met Sheryl in 2006 through work. I vividly remember the day we exchanged business cards. Who would have thought we would become so close? How could we not? She was such an inviting, fun and loving person. As I began to know her I was always amazed to hear about all the activities she had in her life. Her passion for everything she did was incredible! Chad and I have been remembering and will remember all the moments we had with you. We feel so blessed to have had you in our lives. We will miss you…specially your bright-contagious smile. Our thoughts and prayers are with Joyce, Dave, Ann Marie and John.

  22. Jeff Barzyk says:

    I am deeply saddened to learn of Sheryl’s passing, and my most heartfelt condolences go out to Joyce, Dave, Ann Marie, John, and to all extended family members and friends. Sheryl and I met when we were students at Creighton University and we were engaged for period of time. I will always remember her as a constant source of support and encouragement when times were most difficult for me. She loved the outdoors unlike anyone I have ever known, and I admire her ability to live life to its fullest. It comforts me in small way to know that she was in her element when God called her home. Sheryl was a wonderful person and God truly blessed each and everyone of us with her presence. My thoughts and prayers are with all of you in this difficult time.

  23. Rebecca Hall says:

    I knew Sheryl for a few years through trail running, but it was when we discovered our shared love of skiing and backpacking that we really became close. This past year was awesome: so many great ski/running/backpacking days, and not too mention fabulous happy hours at the Table Mountain Inn. I was so looking forward to more outdoor adventures with her. Even if she is not with me physically, she will be with me in spirit. Her positive spirit and enthusiasm for life will live in my memory. My love to her family and to John.

  24. Kamal Gandhi says:

    I met Sheryl at a ESA conference many years ago, when were in the same session. It was clear that she was an exceptional person, a very bright scientist with a zest for life, and would far in her career. I am deeply saddened by her early death, and my heart goes to her family. She will be sorely missed in the forest entomology community. Words really can’t express such a deep loss…

  25. Kelly Sullivan Burns says:

    Word cannot express how sorry I am for your loss. Sheryl was a great person to work with and an even better friend. I will never forget the great adventures I had with her over the years….from running the Golden Gate half marathon, to our “extreme forestry” trips to Jenny Lake on snowshoes/skis and taking Avalanche Safety training with her and John up in Fraser during a huge blizzard. I absolutely loved Sheryl’s goofy sense of humor too. When I was 8 months pregnant with my twin girls, she decided it would be funny to start an office contest to see who could most precisely guess my girth – so she measured my belly like a tree (with a d-tape) and took photos! I already miss her deeply.

  26. Jeri Lyn Harris says:

    Sheryl seemed to reach out to everyone and touch their lives for good. Her life, smile, and talents are sweet and hallowed memories of the joy, peace, and charity she gave to all. She really was, and still is, a great inspiration of how to live and love life. May her memory continue on forever in our hearts.

  27. Bill Schaupp says:

    Inexplicable — the pine’s green color, the beetle emergence holes — and yet there I was way out in the wild woods of Nebraska, supposedly the expert showing others. Exasperated, I stepped back…and my cell phone rang. It was Sheryl, my coworker, with whom I was writing a paper on these beetles in this place. “Sheryl, what am I seeing?!” I howled, feeling lost. “Oh, tell me, tell me what you’re seeing!” she replied excitedly, laughing. I could see that infectious smile, was uplifted by her enthusism, charmed by the crazy coincidence. We are always together in our hearts who care for one another, so will Sheryl always be within all who she touched. My condolences to her family, friends, peers. We shall dearly miss her beautiful presence.

  28. Jenny Briggs says:

    Sheryl could drive a truck, mix up a salad, identify an insect in a vial, read a map, describe fascinating facts about entomology, nibble a cookie, answer her phone, plan her next climb, and fix a GPS unit…ALL AT THE SAME TIME! (or pretty much.) I feel very lucky to have worked with her and known her in the past few years. Her colleagues here on the Front Range will really miss her in our many meetings and projects where she provided expertise, common sense, and a lot of humor to address insect problems large and small. I hope we can have at least a few cookies in her honor, and channel some of her boundless energy and strength whenever we remember her.

  29. Paula Fornwalt says:

    Though I hung out with Sheryl as a friend on numerous occasions, the memory I keep coming back to is the time we teamed up as colleagues for work. In 2009, I was asked to give a talk to a group of weed managers about how the mountain pine beetle epidemic might stimulate weeds. I was comfortable with the weed part of the talk, but had yet to work with mountain pine beetle. I emailed Sheryl to ask her some questions, and to see if she had some slides I could borrow. She responded that she would do better than that – she would happily give that part of the talk for me! However, a few hours before we were to present, I became horribly ill (another story in and of itself). Not to worry – Sheryl was happy to fill the timeslot with a full-blown beetle talk. By all accounts it was a huge hit with the audience, though weeds never even came up once! Sheryl was always such an enthusiastic, generous, and dedicated friend and colleague.

    I’ll miss Sheryl deeply, and my heart and thoughts go out to all who knew and loved her, particularly John K., her parents, and her sister.

    Here are the photos John F. and I have of Sheryl – unfortunately, there are only a few. One is from John F.’s 30th birthday gathering. The others are from the 2007 Wild West Relay, taken by various members of our team.


  30. John Frank says:

    Although I’ve spent almost every Tuesday for the past decade working/freezing/hiking/skiing with John at GLEES, I actually knew Sheryl first. I watched them become best friends. And a few years ago when John told me they’d started dating I said “It’s about time!” They were a perfect couple. So, I was thinking about my favorite memory of Sheryl, and for some reason I keep thinking of the time when Paula and I went to the drive-in with Sheryl and a few of her friends. I can’t recall the movie nor any particular details. Only that it was a blast. I tried for years to convince John that he should go to the drive-in with Sheryl, but I don’t think he ever did. But then again, I don’t think Sheryl ever went with John to see Split Lip Rayfield. Otherwise, they were perfect for each other and I will miss seeing them together. My heart goes out to John and Sheryl’s family.

  31. Frank Cross says:

    Dear Sheryl

    I just read the comments about you and am impressed by the legacy that you left. You lived life. You touched people. You left your mark in our hearts. You lived each moment with a passion and a smile. You cared about people, your job and having fun. It was a joy knowing you Sheryl. Thanks for the memories and for reaching out to us with your love.

    Frank Cross
    FHP Director (retired)

  32. John Barksdale says:

    I took the HAMS school this last year with the Colorado Mountain Club and my memory of Sheryl was her showing up on Sunday morning during our final outing with Cookies! Her generosity and spirit will be missed.

    My heart and prayers go out to her friends, coworkers, and family.

    John Barksdale

  33. Lorraine Maclauchlan says:

    I got to know Sheryl at the numerous WFIWC and Defoliator Working Group sessions we both attended. She was always going 110% and full steam ahead with a big smile on her face. I was always amazed at how many projects she had on the go and how she was always the first to volunteer to take on more. Sheryl was a devoted entomologist and terrific person. All her Canadian friends will miss her dearly. My thoughts are with her family and friends.

  34. Ted Burk says:

    I knew Sheryl well when she was an undergraduate at Creighton. She took several classes with me, did some undergraduate research with me, and was the Teaching Assistant for my Animal Behavior Laboratory class. I last saw her two years ago at her class’ 10-year reunion at CU – the same dynamic Sheryl, seemed like not a day had passed since she had graduated. She had an incredible zest for life, and touched everyone with her tremendous smile, her energy, and her great sense of fun. She had a passion for the outdoors and an insatiable curiosity about all creatures. She also had a way of wrinkling her eyebrow and smiling at you when you said something dubious that showed in the kindliest way that she saw right through you. She touched a lot of people’s lives, and will be missed tremendously. We’re deeply sorrowed to lose her, but will always be cheered by our memories of her. The thoughts and prayers of everyone at Creighton are with her family and friends.

  35. Mary Ann Vinton says:

    I also had Sheryl as an undergraduate student here in Biology at Creighton. She was the spark plug in any class – such a pleasure to teach and to know her. Sheryl and her mother came by my office at graduation and were kind enough to give me some of her grandfather’s (David Costello’s) books and material on prairie ecology. He was a long-time Forest Service researcher and prolific author. I had lost touch with Sheryl in recent years but these posts attest to the fact that she lived life fully and had such an impact on everyone lucky enough to cross paths with her. What a loss to the world! My deepest condolences to all her friends and family.

  36. Tiffany Cap says:

    I first got to know Sheryl through my best friend and we lived as roommates for a while before she bought her home in Golden. It has been so much fun getting to know and become close friends with Sheryl. She was also great to have as a roommate since she would move (not kill) spiders in the house for me…although there would be the occasional bug in the freezer that she wanted to preserve. :0) I was lucky enough to see her quite frequently this June for various events and adventures. Sheryl had a zest for life, always had a smile on her face and was so enthusiastic about her next adventure. You knew she truly loved her life and lived it to the fullest. I miss her tremendously and she will forever be in my thoughts.

  37. Christine Pangan says:

    I learned about what happened to Sheryl through Facebook (mutual friends of ours in high school). She was one of my friends from our high school that I had always wanted to reconnect with as I wondered what she was up to. It is unfortunate that this is how I find out what a wonderful woman she became and that her passions and bright personality became even greater after high school. I have fond memories of her from doing her makeup for our high school Spring Sing to doing a funny skit with her for Chemistry class where she was Captain Planet. It was so great to see that she really did try to do her part in saving the planet! My condolences to her friends and family, and to the planet… She reminds us that our time is precious and limited; do not waste a second of it… and if there’s anyone out there you’ve been wanting to talk to, reconnect with, apologize to, say “I love you” to, don’t wait or put it off. Sheryl, I’m sorry we did not keep in touch after high school – my thoughts and prayers are with you and your loved ones.

  38. Brytten Steed says:

    Her laugh was a little more contagious, her smile just that much brighter, and her energy for EVERYTHING seemed just that much more than your average bear. Last time I saw Sheryl she was just getting back from getting her hair trimmed at a salon that served beer! (just had to try it… did I want to go, too?) Everyone who knew Sheryl, well or not-as-well-as-they-would-have-liked, will notice her absence. Perhaps missing Sheryl herself will be matched by missing the radiance, enthusiasm, and unassuming friendliness Sheryl embodied – reminding us to be a bit more that way, ourselves. The inspiration to live larger and be a better person will remain… but I’d sure love to hear her voice inviting me to have that beer. My heart goes out to her family and friends, with special thanks to John for sharing their story. I’m not at all suprised she’d made it to the top!

  39. Steve Munson says:

    Sheryl was a good friend and colleague who will forever be a part of my life. Her passion for everything she tackled was infectious. Her great smile and love of life was well known to all that knew her. Our small community suffered a tremendous loss with Sheryl’s passing. We will all miss her greatly. God Bless and my deep sympathy to her family during this difficult time.

  40. Katie Goodwin says:

    Sheryl was a good friend. I knew few people who were always up for anything. Whether it was a beer on the back porch or a mountain climb; she always brought her smile, laughter, and spirit to live in that moment! I am fortunate to have shared many memorable moments with such a wonderful person.

    The last trip I made with Sheryl was a ski trip to Mt. Guyot. We had perfect weather. Sheryl commented on the perfect corn snow. We ended the day with a good brew. I am glad one of my last days with her could be so perfect. I will miss her.

    I have put together an album which includes many of the times I have shared with Sheryl. If anyone is interested you are welcome to view them at the following link.

  41. Heather Wilson says:

    I feel lost with out you my buttercup. I just hope I told you I loved you enough times.

  42. Michael Dee says:

    Late morning July 3rd my three sons and I were on an AAI alpine safety session on Mt Baker When we left in the morning we passed her boyfriend coming down and heard she was missing. We hiked up to the crevasse, near Heliotrope Ridge, where it was thought she may have fallen in. Our guides from AAI, David and Chris, were the first responders. Not knowing if this was where she was they made the effort and took the risk to descend well into the crevasse to search more than a few times and also joined the rescue squad when they arrived shortly thereafter. Even though they did not have the dry suits at that time to go into the water 50 feet under they snow it seemed to us they took great risk to do everything they could. It wasn’t until a few days later we heard of the tragic unfolding of events.

    Having subsequently learned Sheryl’s name and read the comments from her friends, my family and I fell a great sense of loss for all those who knew her. She clearly was a very special woman who loved people and the outdoors with great passion. Also her involvement with Special Olympics touched us. Earlier this summer my three sons and I climbed Kilimanjaro with two athletes from Special Olympics in Singapore (where we live) and Tanzania. This sounds like a trip Sheryl would have enjoyed. Our family will be making a donation to Special Olympics in her name to honor her work with the intellectually disabled.

    It also suggest it may be a fitting memorial for the forest service, guides and climbers in the area to mark the crevasse (and others) at Heliotrope Ridge in the future as I’m sure Sheryl would want to warn others to use extreme caution or steer clear of this area. Based on my reading of the loving comments above she was simply an extraordinary individual.

  43. Ariela Friedmann says:

    I didn’t know Sheryl, but happened to be on the mountain Sunday Aug 21 backpacking out when the recovery was happening as I passed by. The recovery team was focused, serene and so respectful. As one who loves hiking in the mountains, I am so sorry for this loss and feel it deeply. It has truly touched me. I am hiking to base camp Everest this fall, and will say a prayer for Sheryl there. Anyone who loves the mountain loves life. My utmost condolences to her loved ones.

  44. Louise Korfmacher says:

    As John’s mother, our whole family was so glad that Sheryl and John found each other. I don’t know of any other couple who loved the same things as much as they did. We didn’t have much time to know Sheryl the way some of you did, but we loved her very much and were delighted that those two found each other. It has been seven months since Sheryl died and I think of her family and John each day and they are in my prayers at night. I can’t think of anything worse than losing a child. Our heartts go out to all of Sheryl’s family.

  45. Rich Allen says:

    I only knew Sheryl briefly thru a BMS class we were both students in. My first impression of her was of an energetic, enthusiastic, and fun-filled young woman. She was a strong and knowledgable climber, and also very helpful and patient with a novice climber such as myself. When I heard the sad news last year, my heart just sank…such a bright light extinguished from this world. I still think of her from time to time when I am climbing or hiking…her attitude was truly inspirational.

  46. Becca Hall says:

    Hey buddy. I was just at the Table Mountain Inn for dinner – my first time there since I last saw you. I thought about chickening out, but figured you would make fun of me, so I thought of you over some fish and shrimp tacos. I also wanted you to know that Andy and I each carried a picture of you on our 2 week backpacking trip on the Colorado Trail, and I also carried you with me on my 100 miler in September! Is that why my knees didn’t hurt? If so, thanks, I needed that especially in the last 7 miles. The BC isn’t the same without you, so I kind of can’t wait for winter to be over. XOXO, B

  47. Tiffany cap says:

    Happy belated birthday Sheryl! I miss you so much and think of you often!

  48. Meg Halford says:

    Here is a toast to our dear friend, colleague, soul mate, daughter and sister. One year ago today we lost you but I am sure your spirit is still around. We miss you Sheryl!

  49. Bill Schaupp says:

    Raise the torch knocked from Sheryl’s hands, the torch burning brightly called “the zest for life”, hold it high to honor her, wave it especially this day…may it help guide your way out of the darkness that is grief. I celebrate your life, Sheryl! and I miss you, too.

  50. Holly Kearns says:

    We miss you, Sheryl, and the brightness you brought to all our lives and the world.

  51. Frank Censullo says:

    I’ve only known Sheryl a short time and i’m proud to say she left a lasting impression. She was SO full of life !
    If anything can be taken from this, i would think it’s nice she was doing what she loved. No sure things in life, make sure you go after your dreams while you can. I believe Sheryl did. And i have a lot of respect for her and how she LIVED her life.
    Frank C.

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