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Life story
May 14, 2010
 

Below is the eulogy given at Sheryl's memorial service by her parents.

 

 

 

Hi, we are the parents of Sheryl Wolfe. We first moved to Hawaii in 1990 with our son Joel and our daughter Lauren. Our family was complete with the two kids we asked for, a boy and a girl. Then few months later, God gave us a surprise gift, another baby girl. I didn’t even know I was pregnant till later. It was like a bonus gift to us, and we said, thank you Lord, we’ll take it. So, on October 16, 1991 at 8:20 am, we received our precious gift from God, a healthy 8 lb., 19 1/2 in. baby girl. We named her Sheryl Nicole Wolfe. She had a very good temperament, very sweet, always smiling, beautiful baby. As Sheryl began to grow and talk, she became very inquisitive about everything. She was always asking a million questions. Why this? How come that? Where is this? When are they coming? Who are they? She would at times ask so many questions I would get irritated at her. But I would not discourage her from asking them. She always looked at things a little differently than most people did. For example most people would see a red rose and say that it is a beautiful red rose. Sheryl would say that rose would look good on my hair. Or do honey bees get sweeter honey from a rose?

 

I remember Sheryl humming a tune before she could even talk. Her favorite was the Itsy Bitsy Spider. As she grew older, if she liked a tune, she would play the notes on the piano. Not that she knew how to read the notes or play the piano, but she would remember the tune in her head and somehow figured out where the notes would be on the piano. She was always fascinated with music. After she could talk, we found out that she could sing as well. Sheryl had a few odd quirks when she was small. One of them was she would always pick up a stick from the ground, whether it was big or small, and carried it with her. Another oddity was she would chew on every thing like a beaver. She chewed on the table, back of chairs, the seats in the car, etc. It didn’t matter what it was she chewed on it. Her favorite movie as a child was Cinderella. She watched it over and over again. She was obsessed with Cinderella. You’d ask her what her name was and she’d answer “Cinderella” matter of factly. We’d ask her what she wanted for Christmas and she’d say, “Glass slippers.” You’d go into the kitchen and she’d be on her hands and knees scrubbing the floor and we’d ask her what she was doing and she’d say, “That is what Cinderella would do.” She would take any pen or pencil she found in the house and turn it into Cinderella by adding a paper gown on it. She did it so quickly and perfectly. In just a few minutes after leaving a pen or pencil out, it would magically have one of these wonderful gowns taped to it. Needless to say we were always looking where the scotch tape was. It took us over 10 years to figure out how she put the gowns on so evenly and quickly. We thought she wrapped the paper towel or tissue around the pencil and taped it on. When we tried this it never came out even all around as hers did. What she did was take one square of paper towel and poke the pencil through the middle and then tape it to the pencil. Then she’d trim the bottom to make it even. A perfect dress in one moment.

 

Sheryl’s older brother and sister used to play soccer, and Sheryl would always go along and watch them play. When the season was over, Sheryl would carry their trophies and take pictures with them as if they were her own trophies. When she turned 5, then it was her time to play soccer. We thought, because she was always acting like Cinderella, she wouldn’t be interested in playing. How wrong we were, having watched her older brother and sister play soccer for several years, she learned that all she needed to do was get the ball and shoot it at the goal. We remember during her very first soccer game, that was exactly what she did, get the ball and shoot it, no matter if she was getting the ball from the other team or from her teammates. She would circle the bunch of children, like a hunting wolf. When she would see the opportune moment, she would run into the crowd of kids. The ball would pop out with Sheryl following it all the way to the goal. Even when she was sitting out, that didn’t stop her from getting the ball either. If the ball heads her direction, she’ll jump on to the field and dribble that ball to the goal. We always have a laugh watching her play when she was little.

 

 

Along with soccer, she also learned gymnastics at Rainbow Gymnastics Academy. She was just starting to compete at Level 5 when we moved to California. She also took dance lessons at Nixdance and performed in several shows. She danced the Hip Hop, Ballet, Jazz and Latin dance. She was part of the Keiki Company along with her sister Lauren. She also danced the Ballet, Tap and Hula with Sabrina Starr. She played one season of baseball. Although she could not hit the ball, she could make the guys run after her. She also did Ice Skating on occasions and performed in the Nutcracker winter show once. She took piano lessons from Eileen Hirota from Wahiawa and took modeling and singing lessons from Model’s Inc. Sheryl and her sister were so full of energy. They had to be doing something all the time. They were always seen running, jumping, tumbling, or just giggling. Every time we went to Mililani Walmart, the girls used to jump over each of the metal ballards in front of the main entrance to see who could do it faster and higher. Several weeks later, the store management had made the poles higher, which stopped them from jumping. At times the two sisters were even rascals.

 

 

A story that comes to mind is when Sheryl and Lauren had a sleep over party at Nix Dance. Ed and Juliet’s daughter, Stephanie, had the honor of being with Sheryl and Lauren for the night. At some point during the evening, Sheryl and Lauren wanted to escape the watchful eye of Stephanie that they tied her to the bathroom sink and then left her there for awhile. Sheryl had a very sweet spirit about her. Ever since she was small she had this sweetness. Anyone who met her would see this quite quickly after just spending a few moments with her. However, she had a toughness inside her when she needed it. She always knew how to lift everyone’s spirits. If the mood was down she would see to it that people were not down for very long. She always had the right thing to say, make a joke or hug someone. She had a special place in her heart for special needs people. One particular person I remember, she always find time to just say hello or find out what movie he had just seen and what he thought of it. Even if she was with others, she’d stop to talk to him. While she was reigning as Miss Teen Hawaii United States, one of the events she was most looking forward to was to help at the Special Olympics. But time ran out for her before she could do it.

 

She also supported a child through Compassion International, A Christian organization that cares for orphans throughout the world. Her first child was a 9 yr old child called Palm from Thailand. Her next child is a 11 yr old child called Nook also from Thailand. We will continue to support this child in her honor. When she was 10 years old, we moved to American Canyon, a small town in Napa Valley. We stayed there for 3 years. I remember during her first day in school, everyone wanted to be her best friend. Some of those friends she made have remained in contact with her and some of those friends have traveled here to bid Sheryl farewell. Sheryl was a great athlete. She and Lauren led the school to win all the events in their multi-school track meet. It was the first time in the school’s history that they ever brought home the winning trophy. They were so thankful for the Wolfe sisters. While in California, she played for Napa Youth Soccer League. It was a traveling team, so every weekend, we would go on a trip to play soccer, sometimes spending the weekend at a hotel. She did good playing sweeper and goalie for this team. Later on, she played for the Solano Golden Bears. The team was very good and went on to the playoffs for the championships. Sheryl had many hidden talents. One summer while in American Canyon, Sheryl and Lauren signed up to perform in the local summer play. Sheryl was chosen as the singing Grandma. She had to sing several solos throughout the play. She did an exceptionally good job. She was the hit of the play. We had learned that Sheryl could sing very well. Even though she could sing so well she never wanted to become a singer. She had the ability of hearing a song just a few times and could sing it.

 

 

While in California, she still kept up with her piano and gymnastics lessons. She also took voice lessons. Another quality of Sheryl was that she was very artistic. One of her ambitions was to be come a graphic artist. The cover of the program you have in your hand was designed by Sheryl just days before she had her stroke. It was one of the pages she created for herself for the Miss Teen Hawaii-World Pageant program book. This page illustrates her unique perspective on design and life – “To the limits”. She started high school here in Mililani High School. This is her Alma Mater. Early on in high school, she joined the Cross Country team, the Track team and played HYSA soccer for Real. On her sophomore year, she led the Mililani High School JV soccer team to the championships. Their soccer coach named her the MVP at their dinner party. During her junior year her focus began to switch from soccer to modeling, though still doing track and field on the side. Her events were 400, 4 x 400 relay and High jump. She qualified for States each year she joined for High Jump.

 

 

On March 2009, she signed up for a modeling class at Susan Page. Here she learned proper walks, poise, wardrobe and makeup. After completing the class, Patricia from Susan Page Modeling asked her if she would like to join a pageant. She thought that would be something cool to do so she did. To prepare, she signed up for a Pageantry class taught by Vilma Tucay. There she learned different walks for swimsuit and evening gown and some interview skills. On May 2009, she became the first Miss Hawaii Teen Princess. After the pageant, Patricia told her that the judges were so impressed with her that she should join another pageant. So we found out about Miss Hawaii Teen United States Pageant directed by Luana Alapa and called her. Luana gladly accepted her and on June 2009, a month later, she became the new Miss Hawaii Teen United States 2009. After Sheryl won this pageant, she wanted to go to the Nationals but was not able to make it that year. So she asked Alicia Jones if she can join the Miss Teen Hawaii World in 2010, hoping that if she wins, she will be able to go to the Nationals. She was the first one to sign up for this pageant. She never got to finish this pageant, but her friend Flo made sure that she did by competing in her place. Sheryl has met many wonderful people and had many doors open up for her since she started modeling and joining the pageants. She met many wonderful photographers like Kaveh Kardan, Dennis Belen, Kaleo Donahue, Uncle Tim and Rick Bernico to name a few. Each of these helped her grow as a model. She met a wonderful wardrobe stylist, Jane Metcalf who has become a dear friend to Sheryl. She would always pull together just the right wardrobe for her. It was through her that Sheryl met Michael Shockley, producer of Model Search Hawaii TV program aired on Olelo Channel 52. He was looking for a new host for his show and liked Sheryl, but had reservations due to her quiet spirit. He took a chance on Sheryl and just after her first show he knew he had made the right decision to have Sheryl as co-host for the show. At an audition for a fashion show this past December, she met Rafael Webb, owner of Scorpion Management. He immediately asked Sheryl if he could manage her due to the inner and outer beauty he saw in her. He had a plan that was going to take Sheryl to great fame.

 

 

Sheryl has met several new friends in the pageant world. While doing a photo shoot for the Miss Hawaii Teen United States pageant, she met Florence Villanueva, soon to be her very best friend in the pageant world and who would someday represent her in the Miss Teen Hawaii World 2010. After the photo shoot, they talked on the phone, they hang out, they had sleepovers, and they practiced their pageant walks together. They even went to church together. Sheryl has had many best friends that it is hard to guess who her real best friend is. The fact is, while a person normally has one best friend in life, Sheryl has several, depending on what area of her life she is in at the moment. She has a best friend in track, a best friend in soccer, a best friend in school, a best friend outside of school, a best friend in the pageant, a best friend in California, a best friend in New Jersey and so on. And truly, every one of them was her best friend. She has a compassionate heart. When one of her friends felt depressed, she asked if she could bring her home. During the pageant, when one of her friends were down because she didn’t like how her make up turned out, she’ll ask her own makeup artist if she could fix her make up. When some other pageant contestants didn’t have the right shoes or the right bra or even the right hairpiece, she would share hers. And she truly wanted to help others even though some of them she just met. Here are the things that Sheryl liked: She likes the colors Goldenrod and Forest Green; She likes Ramen Soup, Spicy Ahi Sushi and Spaghetti; She liked to wear anything sassy and cute, short shorts, fitted blouses, men’s loose dress shirts, and borrowed friends hoodies; She liked wearing hat, her favorite is a neon pink ball cap; She liked to own a Nissan Hardbody Pickup truck– flat black; She liked Reggae & Techno music. Her favorite Actors are JohnnyDepp and Rachel McAdams; Her favorite movie is “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory;” Her favorite stuffed animal is a white monk seal, she called Sealy given by her boyfriend Kenzie; Her favorite flower is Lily; Her favorite Computer Game is World of Warcraft; Her favorite Beach are Keiki’s and Waimea Bay – along the North Shore; Her favorite hero is her sister Lauren; Her nickname and screen name is “Wolfey”.

 

 

She wanted to be, depending on the day you talked to her, a Graphic Artist, a career helping special needs children, a Model, an Actress or a Fashion Designer. In her case probably all the above. She wanted to become as famous as Tyra Banks so she could use that influence to help special needs children and others. On the morning of April 13th as I dropped Sheryl off to school around 7:00 am, it was no different than any other morning. On that Tuesday morning, Sheryl seemed more beautiful to me than I have ever remembered. We were just making small talk in the car as we drove to school. But I can remember every detail about her that morning. How her hair was pulled back into a bun. A few strands of hair hanging crossing her face. The light make-up she put on. She was wearing her black sleeveless blouse, her cute black shorts accented with a white sash she used as a belt. This seemed odd to me that I was so impressed by her that morning. But looking back now, I know God had given me one last permanent memory of her for I usually never notice things like that. At around 7:30 am. Dr. Brummel called me and told me that Sheryl had collapsed in class and that he called the ambulance. When Sheryl regained consciousness, she asked Dr. Brummel to call me instead. I picked her up from school and due to rush hour traffic, I took her to the nearest hospital and requested the nurses for a CT scan. They found a brain hemorrhage and immediately contacted Queen’s Medical Center for transfer orders. When I found out about the brain hemorrhage, I immediately prayed with her for God to forgive her of all her sins and asked Jesus to come into her life and stay with her till the end. I know she already accepted Jesus as her savior when she was little, but I just want to make sure. So now, I am sure that she is with God in heaven and is now our guardian angel. I told her over and over how much I love her. It is all in God’s hands from then on. God gave her to us for 18 years, but those were the best 18 years of our lives. She had accomplished a lot in life and she lived her life to the fullest. Now God has another plan for her life. And this is just the beginning.

 

 

Sheryl taught us a lot in this world. She taught us that life is fragile and that God can call us back at anytime and at any age, so we should be always ready. And she died doing the thing she likes the best, that is, helping other people. Sheryl was not perfect nor were we. Like any other family we have made many mistakes along this path we have traveled with Sheryl. But by God’s grace, things have worked out good for the most part. I remember forgetting her at a friend’s house and then having to drive back to get her. She has accomplished so much in her short time here on earth. More than what some have accomplished in a long life. One asks, “why would God take this one with so much potential, talent, sweetness. She could have done so much more.” It is hard to understand the why’s when we only see a portion of the big picture, whereas God sees the whole picture. Like the story of Joseph being sold into slavery by his brothers, or Christ being killed and crucified, it seemed like the end to those living through the circumstances at that moment. But, it was just the beginning. For Joseph went on to become second in command next to pharaoh and save the whole nation of Israel from starvation, and Christ went on to save the world from its sin. It’s as psalms says that, “God’s word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path.” Just as a lamp only lights one or two steps ahead of us, so we can have enough faith to take that next step. So is God’s plan with Sheryl’s life. Sheryl has touched so many lives since she has passed. There are the three people now who have a better life because of Sheryl’s gift to them. Others are now willing to donate their organs because of Sheryl’s gift. I know that God’s purpose and plan will be revealed in time. We thank Him for allowing Sheryl to be a part of our lives for these past 18 years. We thank everyone for your prayers, for sharing our sorrow and for all the support you have given us. We love you Sheryl and can’t wait to see what God and you have planned next. You will always be in our hearts. We will see you again soon!

 

 

Love, Mom, Dad, Joel and Lauren.