Raymond F. Shermoe

Raymond Shermoe, longtime resident of Sioux Falls died July 29, 2012, in Grand Rapids, Michigan, two months shy of his 90th birthday.

Mr. Shermoe was a World War II veteran. He attended Augustana College, and following graduation accepted a position as head of the Language and Drama Department at Washington High School. In 1960 he joined the incorporators of the Civic Fine Arts Center and two years later became its permanent Director.

During his tenure, The Arts Center became the hub of arts activity for the surrounding five-state region and its singular reputation attracted even worldwide visitors. Monthly exhibits acquainted the local arts public with many nationally and internationally acclaimed artists. Workshops and study groups encouraged talented hobbyists to become serious artists with renowned reputations of their own.

Mr. Shermoe initiated the Sidewalk Arts Sale as well as a rental program for the Art Center’s artists. Quarterly classes for children and studio opportunities for adults were regular offerings. During his watch the Arts Center at its Carnegie Building location became a National Historic Landmark and attained status as a Museum.

After his retirement from the Arts Center he joined the local Salvation Army Social Services as a volunteer then as assistant director, where he remained until he was past 80 years old. He later moved to Lansing, Michigan to be close to family.

He was preceded in death by his parents, one brother, two sisters and a nephew. He is survived by one niece and three nephews. Estes-Leadley Greater Lansing Chapel in Lansing, Michigan, is in charge of arrangements. There will be no service.

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6 Messages to “Raymond F. Shermoe

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Pamela Fenstermaker-Dean
August 7, 2012 at 2:48 pm

I had Ray Shermoe for an art teacher in Sioux Falls. He was my favorite teacher. I am very sad to hear of his passing.

Royce and Deanna Adams
August 8, 2012 at 3:37 am

There could be no nicer person on earth than Ray. He was a great teacher and a compassionate man. He loved all his students, even one such as I who had abosolutely no artistic talent. Plus Ray was on my paper route for as long as I delivered it on Phillips Avenue. I never once saw Ray without that brilliant vivacious smile, bright eyes, and rosy cheeks. This world has lost one of it’s best persons but heaven and God surely has gained a wonderful soul. Bye, Ray, we will see you again.
Royce and Deanna Adams, Sioux Falls, SD

Bill Degler
August 8, 2012 at 2:30 pm

I have known Ray Shermoe for 42 years. We met while attending
Augustana College in Sioux Falls, South Dakota.
He was a great guy and a very dedicated teacher in his field of art.
Will miss you, Ray…….May God be with you !

An old Friend.

Pronoun Club, Sioux Falls, SD
August 8, 2012 at 6:35 pm

Ray, we miss you and toast to your memory. God bless.
The Pronoun Club.
Sioux falls,SD

jeff herbert
August 12, 2012 at 10:03 pm

Ray was my homeroom teacher in 10th and 11th grade–and my art teacher when I also in 11th grade. I worked for Ray at the Civic Fine Arts–he was a true gentleman, a kind spirit, and a talent! My sympathy to all of you!


August 14, 2012 at 10:04 pm

Ray was in the service with my dad so I have know him all my life. He use to come up to the family farm by Egan, S.D. and brought me colored chalk and a art tablet. One time when he was visiting us my brothers and I pushed the little car that he drove behind the shed and when he was ready to leave he couldn’t find his car. We thought we had done something really funny. We loved his visits. Years later when my own son went to Augustana and was helping on the Tom Daschle campaign Ray and I found ourselves together there doing some volunteer work and had a wonderful time visiting and he got to meet his army buddy’s grandson..He was one of a kind and we will miss him


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