A TRIBUTE TO RAY A. SHERMAN, D.C., FACCR
December 12, 1938 - February 7, 2014
The chiropractic profession has lost not only a beloved colleague, but also an accomplished scholar, mentor, and educator with the passing of Dr. Ray A. Sherman. Dr. Sherman died on February 7, 2014, in Buffalo, NY after a valiant battle with vascular dementia. He was 75.
Ray A. Sherman was born in 1938 and raised with his sister Donna on the family farm in Clarence, NY. He graduated from Canadian Memorial Chiropractic College (CMCC) in Toronto in 1960. In 1961 he married Woody Martin and the couple settled in Buffalo where Ray began practice with his uncle, Joe Ott, D.C. During this time in Buffalo, Ray served in the New York National Guard for 3 years. In 1965, Ray and Woody moved to Sydney, Australia where their two daughters were born: Melissa in 1966 and Mardi in 1969. Ray is survived by Melissa, her husband Tony North, and their two children, Cale and Harper (Paris, ON, Canada), and Mardi, her husband Jason Garrett, and their two boys Luke and Joel (Sydney, Australia). He is also survived by his sister Donna Miller (East Aurora, NY), her children and grandchildren.
In 1976, after ten years of practice in Australia, Ray was appointed Director of Clinics at CMCC, his alma mater, in Toronto, Canada where he soon became admired and respected by colleagues and students alike. In 1979, the family returned to Australia where they resided and Ray practiced until 2008. From 1988 to 1999, Ray fulfilled several of his passions-- for traveling as well as teaching and practicing chiropractic-- by spending six months each year in his chiropractic office in Australia, and six months as a supervising clinician at CMCC in Canada. Margaret Butkovic, CMCC librarian and Ray’s perennial tennis partner recalls that while in Australia, Ray would always send congratulatory messages to the graduating classes, which were read at Convocations. Ray retired to East Aurora in 2008 after 48 years in practice.
Ray’s wide range of experience as a practicing chiropractor coupled with a gift for expressing himself clearly and memorably made him one of CMCC’s most popular clinic directors and supervising clinicians. He greeted everyone with a big smile and a “G’Day Mate”. He showed more than told students the value of combining common sense with scholarly knowledge, incidentally instilling enthusiasm for and pride in chiropractic en route. In the words of Dr. James P. Laws (DC, CMCC 1979), “Ray was a remarkable man who led by encouragement, enthusiasm, and example”. Likewise he demonstrated the value of a happy-go- lucky demeanor and personality—his knack for putting patients, students and colleagues at ease was nothing short of prodigious—and always insisted that high standards were essential in education, health care delivery, and professionalism.
Don Henderson (DC, FCCS, FCCR) who worked closely with Ray at CMCC recalls Ray having “a very kind and caring way of dealing with folks and that his relentless good humor was instantly contagious. People were made better just by knowing him. He was one of a kind, a
keeper.” Ray’s classmate and friend for 58 years, L. John Faye (DC, FCCS) adds that “Ray had the unique ability to separate the wheat from the chaff—he did not suffer fools gladly. His super sense of humor kept him humble.”
In many circles, Dr. Sherman is best known for his expertise in radiography. This interest seized him in the mid-1960s through friendship with the late Felix Bauer (DC), a Swiss- born perfectionist. Bauer invented and perfected many innovative devices and procedures for increasing x-ray film quality and for reducing radiation exposure. Ray left CMCC for Australia in 1979 in order to collaborate with Felix on the textbook X-Ray X-Pertise—from A to X (1982). Ray and Felix also teamed up to co-lead numerous post-graduate educational seminars in Australia and elsewhere. In the 1980s and 90s, Ray offered seminars throughout North America as a member of the post-graduate faculty of both Western States Chiropractic College and Los Angeles College of Chiropractic. I had the privilege of co-teaching several seminars with Ray and Felix.
Ray, a former editor of the Journal of the Australian Chiropractors’ Association, has published extensively in that journal and in the Journal of the American Chiropractic Association and the Journal of the Canadian Chiropractic Association. He has also published two travel books, Australia for North Americans and Shearing Life in Australia, taken and processed photographs for the sheep-shearing book, and published photos and articles for professional photography journals.
In 2000, Ray was awarded an Honorary Fellow of the American Chiropractic College of Radiology (FACCR) for his “contribution to chiropractic radiographic excellence, quality assurance, and radiation reduction measures” (Figure 2). When Ray was awarded his FACCR, he was one of only eight so honored.
Dr. Ray A. Sherman (right) receives Honorary Fellow of the ACCR from Dr. Lindsay J. Rowe, March 19, 2000.
In his over fifty years as a Doctor of Chiropractic, Ray A. Sherman’s contributions have served to enrich the profession immeasurably. He will be dearly missed by his family, patients, colleagues and friends. As CMCC Professor, Dr. Silvano Mior states, “Ray was a wonderful teacher and human being. He will be missed but not forgotten.”
John A. Taylor, DC, DACBR Buffalo, NY