If you missed the sad news, I'm sorry to have to report that veteran Democrat and activist Sherry Wertz, 75, died New Year's Eve at her Bayview home.
One of my favorite "Reporter's Notebook" items, published in 2008, described how Sherry held up emergency appendectomy surgery early in the morning on election day because she was afraid she would not get to vote for Barack Obama.
Her daughter, Jennifer Wertz, arranged for her to get an emergency ballot at the hospital.
Despite her illness, Sherry remained active and interested in politics right up to the end. In late October, when she was diagnosed with cancer and taken by ambulance to the Cleveland Clinic, she had two questions for her daughter: "Her first question was, is my dog OK? No. 2 was, where's my absentee ballot?"
She wanted to make sure she voted before she died, Jennifer Wertz said.
"I ended up coming back from the Cleveland Clinic, getting her absentee ballot. We filled it out from her bedside," she said.
A wake in Sherry Wertz's honor is scheduled from noon to 5 p.m. Jan. 26 at 104 E. Delaware Trail in Bay View, with anyone who knew her invited to share stories and eat food, Jennifer Wertz said.
I mentioned to Jennifer Wertz that I used to talk to Sherry when she called the paper to chat. Most of my phone calls are complaints, but Sherry was always positive and encouraging, I remarked.
Jennifer Wertz replied that her mother thought life was too negative.
"She always firmly believed in letting people know when they did positive things," she told me.