November 27, 2023

Sherman William Stairs of Machipongo passed away at home with his family on Wednesday, November 22. He was 87 years old.  Stairs, originally from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, attended Penn State University where he earned a degree in agriculture. Stairs spent his career working for the Department of the Interior Fish & Wildlife Service in Wildlife Management. He was also a Federal Law Enforcement Officer.

Throughout his career, Stairs was posted at the North Attleboro Fish Hatchery in Massachusetts, Hebron Fish Hatchery in Ohio, Valley City National Fish Hatchery in North Dakota, Lake Mills Fish Hatchery in Wisconsin, Wytheville Fish Hatchery in Max Meadows, Virginia, the Great Dismal Swamp National Wildlife Refuge in Suffolk, Virginia and Back Bay National Wildlife Refuge in Virginia Beach. He was instrumental in the creation and ongoing development of the Eastern Shore of Virginia National Wildlife Refuge and worked to showcase and preserve the natural beauty of Eastern Shore habitats. Stairs was an original member of the community-based organization CBES, Citizens for a Better Eastern Shore, former President of the Cape Charles Rotary Club and was a Mason. Through his work and dedication to conservation, Stairs.

He is survived by his wife of 58 years, Nancy Robertson Stairs, and two daughters, Karen Stairs Malone of Port Saint Lucie, Florida, and Kristen Corderman of Bury St. Edmunds, UK. He is also survived by his brother and sister-in-law, John and Jane Stairs of Harwood, Maryland.

Stairs was an active member of Hungars Church in Bridgetown and served as Senior Warden and on the Vestry. A memorial service will be conducted Friday, December 1, 2023, at 10:00 AM at Hungars Episcopal Church with Reverend Janet Wheelock officiating. Flowers will be accepted or memorial donations may be made to  Hungars Episcopal Church, P.O. Box 367, Eastville, VA 23347.

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