The 'Sharon Straight' Wins Every Time

Sharon Fredricks played by her own rules.

Ask anyone who’s ever sat across from her at the card table (even the Sisters at St. Ann’s Home) and they’ll warn you to always be on the lookout for the “Sharon Straight” or the “Sharon Flush,” her son-in-law told family and friends gathered for Sharon’s Mass of Christian Burial at St. Mary’s Catholic Church on Monday morning. Sharon was infamous for her “winning” poker hand with a four-card straight or a flush with all the same color cards, regardless of the suit. “It’s good enough,” she’d laughingly say and claim the victory.


And there was that one softball game when Sharon made it on base for the first time. Rather than run to second, she took a shortcut across the pitcher’s mound and ran to third base instead. Why not?


And there’s that other time (more like a hundred times) when Sharon wanted to get out of her chair at St. Ann’s home and walk around, but couldn’t without the alarms sounding because she was deemed a fall risk. Rather than obey the doctor’s orders and sit still, she’d stack some heavy books in her chair or make a family member sit there in her place while she moved around freely. In fact, the day before Sharon died, she asked Robert, her husband of 50 years, to do exactly that.

While Sharon will always be remembered for her funny antics—she once wore a construction hat and danced to “YMCA” (in the totally wrong letter sequence) at her daughter’s wedding—it’s her legacy of faith, love and generosity that made the biggest impact on all who knew her, evidenced by the church pews packed with people.

“Death is never an easy thing...our hope is found in Christ Jesus,” shared Fr. Dan Schumaker, adding that he got to know Sharon not only from her faithful service at the church, but through her great “cooking abilities.” She used to cook him dinner two, sometimes three, nights a week. “It was a way for her to serve, to give thanks and praise to God,” he said.

Before the Burial Mass, a group of family and friends gathered at the funeral home on Sunday night to visit, reflect and share stories about Sharon, and the same theme echoed throughout the room all night long:

“Sharon was so sweet.”

“Sharon was so welcoming. She always made me feel like I was part of the family right away.”

“Sharon loved to dig into God’s word. Her faith was so strong.”

“Sharon was always smiling, always laughing.”

“Sharon was always there for you when you needed her. She’d help out and do whatever she could.”

You can read more about Sharon’s life and even share a memory of your own on her personal memory page.