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Obituary: Sherry L. Thompson

1941 ~ 2004

ST. GEORGE, UTAH <! > - Sherry L. Thompson died battling leukemia while undergoing treatment in Seattle on October 19, 2004.

Born on May 4, 1941, in Ely, Nevada to Mildred Taylor Olpin and Darrel Olpin, Sherry was an only child. She attended Brigham Young University on a scholarship, and was the youngest person at that time to graduate from the university.

Her interests included theater, ballet, art, photography, preserving the environment, animal rights, and these were infused into her professional career. In the early 1960's she started doing artwork for advertising agencies in Salt Lake City. There she met Jerry Thompson, and the two started Thompson Graphic Design in 1965, and a family.

Sherry started S. Thompson Advertising Agency in 1973. Some of the highlights of her advertising career include illustrations for the LDS Church, the Stars basketball team, the book, One Sleepless Night, written by LDS President Spencer Kimball, and photographs for the state's tourism industry. She was president of the Art Directors Club of Salt Lake City for a number of years.

In 1990 she married Rod Irwin. They developed affordable housing in Ogden using an environmentally sensitive construction method, new at the time. They moved to St. George, Utah in 1998, where their first project was the design and complete renovation of Ancestor Square, and design of the Painted Pony restaurant.

Their business, S Gallery, began in St. George in 1999. Initially it was an art gallery featuring Sherry's work. Custom furniture design and construction followed quickly. Their work is prominently displayed in numerous Parade of Homes and many of the finest homes in Utah, Nevada and Arizona.

Pottery was a passion of hers, but Sherry created beauty and magic with any material she touched. She did more than design custom furniture: she turned it into art and created a unique Southwest look. She was a prolific and talented painter and sculptor. In addition to her husband Rodney Irwin, Sherry is survived by sons Greg and Jan Thompson of Salt Lake City, stepchildren Michael and Amanda Irwin of St. George, and grandchildren Jarrad and Anthony Thompson, and Kyler Irwin.

A ceremony celebrating Sherry's life will be held on Tuesday, October 26, from 4:30-7:30 p.m. at a private residence in Ivins. Those interested in attending, please contact S Gallery at 435-673-9729 (after hours, please call Rod at 435-229-2964 or Mandy at 435-229-1049) for more information.

Donations in Sherry's memory may be sent to Best Friends Animal Society, 5001 Angel Canyon Road, Kanab, Utah 84741.