Bob Sherwell, adored dad and mentor to many, gone
BOB Sherwell, one of the Sunshine Coast's most adored dads and mentor to many, has been 'promoted to glory'.
The 88-year-old died about 6pm on Monday night as tributes poured in on social media from across the Coast.
Mr Sherwell's wife of 62 years, Fran, was by his side along along with his sons Ken and Robbie and other members of the family throughout the past few days as he rested peacefully.
"Dad went home to Jesus at 6.00 this evening,'' Ken said in a message to the Daily.
One of six children originally (his brother died when he was 2), Bob is survived by his brothers Duke and Dick, along with seven grandchildren: Candice, Rebekah, Ashleah, Jye, Josh, Kallan and Joel, along with six great grandchildren:
Charlotte, Tahlia, Burton, Max, Quinn and the latest eight-week-old Amelia.
His family say Bob was looking forward to being reunited with his daughter Kari Taylor and son-in-law Allan Taylor in heaven.
Allan, a popular school chaplain, and his wife Kari, a dance teacher, tragically died in a car crash in 2009 which rocked not only the Coast church community but many schoolchildren and youth.
About 3000 attended the couple's celebration of life at Suncoast Christian Church in testimony of the incredible impact they had on the region's youth.
Mr Sherwell himself left a similar legacy, being not only a great father and grandfather to his own family but a father of the faith and mentor to many.
Just shy of his 87th birthday, he jumped out of a plane, for the third time in his life, to raise money for Al Taylor for Kids, a charity which continues to help local at-risk youth.
Son Ken Sherwell told the Sunshine Coast Daily on Monday that his dad, who has had cancer, had been unconscious and being surrounded by his family.
"Mum lent over Dad's bed on Friday and kissed him. She asked him "Do you know who I am?" "He replied "You are my sweetie and you're mine forever,'' Ken posted on Facebook.
On Sunday night he wrote that his dad would celebrate his next birthday with Kari in heaven.
Mr Sherwell had not eaten in about two weeks and doctors have been surprised he has lasted so long. "He is resting peacefully,'' Ken said on Monday at midday.
"My Dad is in specialist palliative care at Dove Cottage at Caloundra. He has remained unconscious today and we don't expect that he is not long for this world,'' Ken posted earlier.
"My Dad has always been my hero and I know that he had been a hero for so many!
"The Bible says that a good man leaves an inheritance to his children's, children.
"Well I know that he had done this for not only his biological family's children but to multitudes more - an inheritance of love, listening, understanding, acceptance, truth , faith , generosity and the list goes on and on!"
A MENTOR TO MANY YOUTH
As a former Suncoast Christian Church youth pastor, Bob Sherwell was a mentor to many.
"So many kids were influenced by his love,'' Ken said.
Ken said his dad had always been a strong, fit man - a swimmer, runner and surfer.
In his early days, he cut timber, hauled grain off the Darling Downs, worked in Mt Isa and then owned successful businesses, as well as raising a successful, loving family.
"Even when I did the wrong thing…. he would love me and support me - because he was my Dad!"
Ken said his dad was captain of rugby league teams, captain of Maroochydore surf club, president of Maroochy swimming club , instrumental with many others in establishing Sundale Nursing Home, but above all a loving husband to Fran and father.
"He is my Dad and I love him with all my heart! He was never short of an "I love you" and a hug!"
The Daily caught up with Bob in 2017 after he did his charity jump with Pastor Joel Baker, above the canefields near Pacific Paradise.
The two blokes were like teenagers again as they described the adrenaline rush of falling in front of a watchful 'congregation' of Flametree Baptist Church family and friends.
"It's addictive I tell you,'' Bob said.
Bob said even though it was his third jump (he did his first at 70), when he got to the edge of the plane he thought:
"I'm nuts. I'm terrified. I shouldn't be doing this.''
"And then you go, and you think 'beauty'.''
A year earlier, Bob joined his granddaughter Ashleah to skydive to raise money for the Al Taylor for Kids' The Potential Project.
Bob Sherwell passionately believed in giving youth hope through a personal relationship with Christ.
"I cry when I see these kids rushing forward to give their hearts to Jesus Christ. That is something else,'' Bob told the Daily.
Bob had also been a longtime supporter of the Island Charity Swim, swimming in the event numerous times.
TRIBUTES FROM FACEBOOK
Former youth pastor Kingsley Leis: One of the true fathers of the faith. He will be sadly missed. Lisa and I loved him dearly. Our prayers are with you all.
Paul Barrs: Such beautiful words for an amazing man. I feel honoured to have known Grandad Bob even this short time. His love and his heart for all who walked into his world was evident in the way he smiled, spoke and listened to every word you said. He is greatly loved, and will be equally missed.... Until we meet again in heaven. Love always.
Kylie Burnett: He's the most amazing, beautiful, Godly, loving man. I feel so blessed to have met him. Everything he does is in love. Holding you all up with love and prayer xxx
Jennifer Ironside: Oh Ken Sherwell I'm so sad to read this - he is truly a remarkable man who influenced generation upon generation.
Erin Fordham: Beautiful words Ken Sherwell, and all so true of your father. Bob had a way of always making me smile when ever I had the pleasure of seeing him, such a sweet, kind and cheeky guy! He lived a full and generous life and I'm sure will be greatly missed by all. My heart and prayers are with you all as you celebrate his wonderful life and the loss of his presence in this world.
Bill Close: Hey Ken, Sad but happy about this news. Because I'm confident where he is going. Truly one of my heroes of faith locally. Sending all our love
Stuart White: What a man. What an honour to have known him and learn from his wisdom. So glad to sit with him for a short time this morning and talk with Jesus and read a Psalm as he slept. God bless all the Sherwell family as you say goodbye to your dad.