Featured Shipmate – Auxiliarist Sherrie Alverson

Monday, February 27, 2012

During her Auxiliary retirement party, Auxiliarist Sherrie Alverson (L) is presented with two lemon meringue pies by Auxiliarist Patti Fritchie (R). Photo courtesy of Wakulla News.

After retiring from a civil service job in Georgia in 1971, Sherrie Alverson went on to have second wildly successful career.  Her calling? The Coast Guard Auxiliary.

Article by Auxiliarist Mary Bethea, Harrisburg, PA

Auxiliarist Sherrie Alverson joined Flotilla 01-03, based in Shell Point, FL, in 1971 and poured her heart and soul into serving the Auxiliary in every facet imaginable. From Coxswain to Division Chaplain; Division Historian to District Materials Officer, Alverson has literally done it all. She has served in every position that the Flotilla, Division and District had to offer, with the exception of elected offices, which she only held in her Flotilla.

After proudly serving in the Auxiliary for the last 40 years, Alverson retired on December 31, 2011.

Former Flotilla member Jack Rosenau calls Alverson a ‘spark plug’ who never quit. This is evident in the fact that not once, but twice, she helped establish a new location for her Flotilla, from bricks to mortar.  All financing for both projects came from community efforts. Funds were raised through bake sales, turkey shoots, kayak races and spaghetti dinners. Takes a lot of spaghetti to build a Flotilla station. The second Flotilla site was dedicated in June of ’97 and Alverson joked she thought “it was never going to get finished.”

What did Alverson do in her spare time? She wrote for the Wakulla News. And what did Alverson write about? The Auxiliary, naturally. What started as a 4 inch guest commentary about the grand opening of the first Flotilla station and radio tower in 1974 turned into a weekly column.  The readership loved the feature and Alverson wrote about the Auxiliary for the next 37 years.

Auxiliarist Sherrie Alverson is presented with an award by Past Commodore Bill Crouch at her Auxiliary retirement party. Photo courtesy of Wakulla News.

While Alverson’s favorite part about being a member of the Auxiliary was being out on the water and being able to help those in distress, she also has other cherished memories. She believes “plaques are important, because it’s a form of pay and Auxiliarists don’t get paid.” Therefore, it was especially touching for Alverson to receive the Auxiliary Meritorious Service Medal, the Award of Operational Merit Medal, twice, and the Plaque of Merit three times.

“I want people to realize the Auxiliary is an important part of the Coast Guard. It may not be as glamorous, but we can still help,” Alverson states. Adding, “I’m proud of my years and proud to be associated with the Auxiliary.”

With that lifetime of Auxiliary service, it just seems natural to raise a hand and salute Auxiliarist Sherrie Alverson to say thank you. And to sign off using the closing mantra from her weekly Wakulla News column – Until next week, safe boating is no accident.

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  1. Carolyn Treadon says:

    Sherrie is a dear friend and incredible mentor! Semper Paratus is an understatement when it came to Sherrie and her dedication to the Auxiliary. Fair winds and following seas my dear friend.

  2. Ellena Roland says:

    Sherrie, you have been a dear friend for the years I have proudly serve the USCG Auxiliary. You have given inspiration and strength to so many (like me). I thank you dearest lady. You have been and will always be the Auxiliary Lady for Division 1. Be happy friend. We love you. Sorry I was unable to attend your retirement, but my heart was there with you. Bill’s sends his love too.

  3. Rich Rasmussen says:

    Sherrie has been the beacon of the Auxiliary in Florida Big Bend area and my friend 😉

    She has tirelessly given of her time, knowledge, skills and resources to improve our community, enhance the image of the Coast Guard and Auxiliary and improve the overall awareness of boating safety. Her infectious smile and desire to serve will be missed by us all.

    Rich Rasmussen
    Past Flotilla Commander, Flotilla 1-2
    Past Division Commander, Division 1
    Past District Captain-East

  4. Dallas Cochran says:

    Hi Sherrie, How I managed to miss your retirement I don’t know. Just out of the loop somehow. I regret missing your retirement get-together. Sherrie, you have been the most active person in the Auxiliary I have ever had the opportunity to work with. You have always done everything I asked of you and more. What an example you set for all of us in Division 1. You certainly deserved the awards you received. How we will miss your smiling face at the division meetings! So, Sherrie, Good Luck in your retirement, may the wind and waves favor your future travels in life. Keep in touch Sherrie.
    Dallas Cochran

  5. Matt Alverson says:

    She keeps all of us grand kids inline even though we are grown now! We spent most of our summers at Flotilla with her and my grandfather and are proud of everything they and the others were able to do at Shell Point. I hope everyone keeps it a nice safe place to relax and have fun.

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