Sherrin Baky-Nessler

Obituary of Sherrin Baky-Nessler

Sherrin H. Baky-Nessler

1944 - 2024

Scientist, Executive, Philanthropist, Wife, Grandmother

Sherrin H. Baky-Nessler of Bryn Mawr, formerly of Newport Beach, CA, and Morristown, NJ, passed away peacefully at the age of 80. Born in Wilkes-Barre, PA, Sherrin received a full scholarship to attend her beloved Gettysburg College where she graduated, cum laude, with a BA in biology. Gettysburg demands that its graduates “Do Great Work” and that she indeed did from 1965 through the next 59 years. Her first professional position, while her husband Bruce was serving in the Army in Germany, was as a scientist with Squibb Pharmaceuticals, where she worked in the R & D of the revolutionary cardio drug Verapamil. Her experience in drug-related research led her into a professional partnership with the The Hardardt Group that was instrumental in perfecting the process that hospitals and laboratories needed to get their research protocols through the FDA’s strict regulatory approval requirements. The reputation of the partnership for clinical research coordination managing clinical trials for the drug and medical device industries grew so strong that IBAH purchased the company. Following the sale of her company, she retired briefly but quickly became involved as the Executive Director of the Association of Clinical Research Professionals. Working in that capacity included her being trapped in Washington, DC during the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

In retirement Sherrin’s commitment to philanthropy is well recognized by a dozen cultural organizations a few of which are The Philadelphia Orchestra with which she and Mr. Nessler traveled in its recent European Tour, The Lankenau Medical Center Women’s Board, The Mann Center, and the Valley Forge Park Alliance where she endowed an enduring public lecture series.

However, of all the organizations that drew her support it was Gettysburg College that embodied her aspirations. It was there that she met her first husband Bruce Alan Baky. The pair devoted themselves to institutions and organizations they loved. They enjoyed traveling together during their 41 year marriage. Her life long support of Gettysburg College witnessed her appointment initially to the Gettysburg Board of Fellows prior to her being elected to 3 terms as a Trustee of the College’s Board of Trustees in 1997. She was awarded Emerita status in 1997. During her years as a Trustee, she also served on the oversight board of Gettysburg’s Sunderman Conservatory of Music. In 2010, Sherrin was awarded the College’s Meritorious Service Award, along with her late husband Bruce ’65, who received the award posthumously in recognition of their longstanding volunteer service to the College. They attained Benefactors Circle status, and their names were added to the College’s Benefactors Wall in 2018 in recognition of their extraordinary generosity.

Emblematic of Sherrin’s boundless energy was her decades of world travel that often reached 100,000 air miles per year. Embracing her own brand of "Carpe Diem,” on New Year's Day 2012, Sherrin attended the Mummer's Day Parade with friends where she met William E. Nessler III (Bill). The two found an immediate sense of empathy for active life in retirement and wed in 2015. This second chance at love for both was a source of enrichment. “We’re the luckiest two people on the planet” was their morning greeting to each other for 8 years as Sherrin became the beloved “gram” for the new family of the 4 Nessler children and spouses, and the 11 grandchildren she gained when she married Bill. Something she never imagined could happen given her peripatetic life style was the delight she discovered when being asked to be “The Bring A Grandparent to School Day”person chosen by her grandchildren. Known within the larger Nessler family as "Pop and Gram," many of the events and celebrations they attended together focused joyfully on their eleven grandchildren.

Friends were important to Sherrin. They are literally too numerous to enumerate but suffice it to say that scores of friends will miss her in The Acorn Club of Philadelphia and the Newcomer's Club of the Upper Main Line, and Lankenau’s Women’s Board.

Sherrin is preceded in death by her parents Robert & Mary Hilburt, her aunt Kathrine Kresge, her first husband Bruce A. Baky, and her 2nd husband William E. Nessler III.

Sherrin is survived by her dear brother-in-law John S. Baky, stepson Kristoffer W. Nessler (Katie), stepdaughters Kathryn I. Kelly (Sean), Sarah E. Rimmele (Zack), and Bethany L. Golebiewski (Brian). Additionally she leaves behind 11 adoring grandchildren: Maya & Greta Nessler, Kevin, Caroline, Brendan & Olivia Kelly, Axel & Anna Rimmele, and Clare, Deacon & Rhys Golebiewski.

In honor of Sherrin please consider memorial donations to Lankenau Medical Center, Valley Forge Park Alliance or The Philadelphia Orchestra Association.

The announcement will be forthcoming for A Celebration of Life Memorial planned for the late summer. An online tribute page will be opened at the Moore, Snear & Ruggiero,

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