Sheri Sue Stodghill Fowler Parks, 47, of Rockwall County passed away in Heath on Jan. 22, 2015, after an extended battle with cancer.
Sheri was born May 31, 1967, in Dallas to Donald and Patsy (Hall) Stodghill. Sheri grew up in the Forest Hills neighborhood of Dallas and was a 1985 graduate of Skyline High School, where she was a member of the drill team and performed in theatrical productions such as “Oklahoma!,” often in roles that featured her extensive training in dance. Following in the footsteps of both her parents and her older brother, Steven, Sheri was part of the second generation of family alumni to attend the University of Texas at Austin where she earned degrees in radio-television-film and journalism.
After college, Sheri was employed as an assistant editor and copywriter for Texas Monthly magazine. Sheri also worked as a freelance writer for numerous publications, including the Dallas Morning News. In 1990, Sheri married, and the couple eventually had two children. Jake, the eldest, is now living in Denver, Colo., where he has recently been awarded his associate’s degree in culinary arts from Johnson and Wales University and is currently pursuing a bachelor of science degree in restaurant management. Grace is a senior at Rockwall High School and president of the Stingerettes Dance team; she plans to major in psychology at college this fall. Grace and Sheri were also very involved in the Rockwall chapter of the National Charity League, a nonprofit mother-daughter organization requiring six years of community service, leadership development, and participation in cultural events, a commitment that Grace will complete as she finishes her final year of high school.
In the spring of 2000, Sheri and her family moved from Austin to Rockwall County to live on the land her fraternal grandparents had farmed and upon which her father had been raised. She was the sixth generation of her family to call Rockwall County home, and she was proud to raise her children as the fourth generation living on family land. Sheri loved living in Rockwall and was extremely interested in its history and in the stories of the pioneer families who had settled in the area. Her passion for history led her to author three books: “Rockwall,” “Rockwall: Then and Now,” and “Royse City.” At the time of her death, she had been completing work on a new book entitled “Legendary Locals of Rockwall.”
In November 2006, Sheri was hired as the chief information officer for the Rockwall Independent School District. She served in the Superintendent’s Cabinet for more than eight years. Her impact on Rockwall ISD was significant; she elevated Rockwall ISD’s “Teacher of the Year” program to one of the best programs in the state. Under her direction, the size and scope of the communication department more than doubled. “Sheri was perfectly fitted for the role she played in Rockwall ISD,” said Superintendent Jeff Bailey. “Her deep love for this community and the students of Rockwall ISD was evident in everything she did.” In 2007, Sheri met her cowboy, the love of her life, Stacy Parks. Together they enjoyed Western dancing, road trips, and spending time with family and friends. From the moment they met, they were rarely apart, and throughout her long fight with cancer, Stacy never left her side, committed to his promise to make her smile every single day. On Nov. 29, 2014, Sheri and Stacy were married before an intimate group of friends and family at the historic Rockwall courthouse that Sheri so loved.
Much as her father before her, Sheri was devoted to civic service in Rockwall. Some of the organizations that benefitted from her efforts include the Rockwall County Friends of the Library, the Rockwall County Alliance for the Arts, the Rockwall Independent School District Education Foundation, the Boy Scouts of America, and the Rockwall County Historical Commission. Sheri will be especially remembered for her contributions to the Rockwall County Historical Society, an institution which she not only served as chair but upon whose board she sat for 11 years.
Sheri was a kind and loving person with a beautiful heart. She always claimed she’d inherited her creativity from her mother, Patsy Ann, a writer, teacher, and a Poet Laureate of Texas; and she attributed her drive and logic to her father, Donald Ray, an attorney and a respected community leader. Her entire life, Sheri had always considered her brother, Steven, a prominent Dallas attorney and philanthropist, a “complete superhero,” and he considered himself her “biggest fan.” Sheri loved and adored Dash, Steven’s son with his wife, Anne, as if he were her own child. From the time he was small, she and Stacy took great pleasure in taking Dash and Stacy’s son, Kagen, on outings to the zoo, the aquarium, and to the Texas State Fair. Sheri loved musicals, art, travel, antiques, public speaking, film noir, and anything historically interesting. She will be greatly missed by all who knew her.
Sheri is survived by her husband, Stacy Duane Parks; her children, Jacob Hall Fowler and Grace Ann Fowler; her stepson, Kagen Duane Parks; her mother, Patsy Ann Hall Stodghill; her brother, Steven Hall Stodghill and wife Anne; her nephew, Dashiell W.W. Stodghill; her aunt, Tommie Sue Hall Fomby; and her cousins, Sue Ann Fomby Yasger, Patti Lou Fomby Ruhland, and Bobbie Fay Fomby.
Sheri was preceded in death by her father, Donald Ray Stodghill.
A memorial service will be held at the First Baptist Church, Rockwall, at 610 South Goliad on Saturday, Jan. 31, at 10 a.m. The service will be officiated by Rick Donaho, with remarks by Billy Quinton and Dr. Tom Maglisceau and a eulogy by Sue Ann Yasger.
Honorary pallbearers will be Blakeley Hall, Brett Hall, Dr. Gene Burton, Eric Dagley, David English, Mike Frasier, Clint Nash, and Billy Quinton. There will be a reception immediately following the service in the Fellowship Hall.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to the Rockwall County Historical Foundation (901 E. Washington Dr., Rockwall TX 75087), the American Cancer Society, Dallas Office (8900 John W. Carpenter Fwy., Dallas TX 75247), or the John Wayne Cancer Foundation (PO Box 1779, Newport Beach CA 92659).
Online condolences may be made at www.resthavenfuneral.com and www.heraldbanner.com.
Published on  February 3, 2015