May 14, 2017

Sheryl Heidenreich

teddy bear

Sheryl L. Heidenreich was born to Dr. Clarence R. and Dorothy Heidenreich on 24 July 1954 in Geneva, NY. She died on 3 May 2017 in Kearney, NE.  Sheryl attended school in Olympia Fields, IL and graduated from Rich Central High School.  She attended the University of Nebraska Lincoln and obtained her Bachelor’s degree, majoring in Anthropology and Sociology.

Sheryl was employed for many years in the Anthropology Department at the Field Museum of Natural History in Chicago. She attended Dominican University in River Forest, IL and completed her Master’s degree in Library and Information Science.  Sheryl moved to Kearney to join the staff of the Calvin T. Ryan Library of the University of Nebraska Kearney as an Assistant Professor, subsequently promoted to Associate Professor.

Sheryl is survived by her sister Marcia (Siamak Shahabi) and brother Byron (Molly Carpenter), aunts Alva DuBois and Helen Lessman; many cousins and dear friends. She was preceded in death by her parents.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the American Historical Society of Germans from Russia (631 D Street, Lincoln, NE 68502) or to the NU Foundation (PO Box 2678, Kearney, NE 68848) indicating the Planetarium Fund in tribute of Sheryl Heidenreich.

Visitation for family and friends will be held 3 – 7 p.m., Friday, 26 May 2017, at Wyuka Funeral Home, 3600 O Street, Lincoln. At Sheryl’s request, there will be no funeral and a private burial.



  1. We love you and will miss you terribly Sheryl..the world is a lot less fun without you here – Frank

  2. Dear Heidenreich family,

    I’m so sorry to hear about Sheryl. She and I & Emmy Lu Kohler (now Macholan) shared an apartment on about 20th & Washington in the mid-70s when we were all in college, one way or another. She was a great roommate and we had a lot of fun and shared some interesting adventures! She was a great cook — made the best spaghetti & meatballs, and her chocolate chip cookies were the best!

    I’m sorry I didn’t know she was living in Kearney — I would’ve loved to reconnect with her. Sending my condolences and wishing you all the best.

    Mary (Havelka) Fischer

  3. I knew Sheryl when I was part of a program as a junior and senior in high school, over 40 years ago. She was, what we would call today, a mentor to me as she was attending UNL at the time. I think of her often and the influence she had on me. I am so sorry to hear of your loss. I will be out of town next week or would have loved to attend the visitation. God bless you in your time of sorrow.

  4. Sheryl was one of my first friends in college where we met 45 years ago. She was the most loyal and devoted and supportive friend one could ever have. She was always there, helping me through every trial, heartache, and uncertainty. We shared a love for all things Native American and I would like to quote Chief Seattle: “There is no death, only a change of worlds.” Some day I will expect to see Sheryl in that great Trading Post in the sky! Until then, those we love don’t go away, they walk beside us every day. Unseen, unheard, but always near; still loved, still missed, and very dear. May our sadness be replaced with memories most fond. Love from Michal

    • Beautiful, Michal. I think of Sheryl as the smart, creative, funny beauty I met in Lincoln, with you by her side.

  5. Dear Marsha and Brian.

    I was deeply sadden to hear about Sheryl’s passing. I know she has had many obstacles to over come in the past couple of years. Even when she was at her worst she was always upbeat and looking to the future. I had talked to her last month, and we were reminiscing of the Russian bottoms, where our grandparents lived next door to each other. I shall miss my genealogy buddy greatly, her infectious smile, her great wit and her honesty.

  6. I worked briefly with Sheryl at UNK and in that short time I was so grateful to have the support of a Chicago sister. She was definitely a standout in that environment! She had a generous spirit, kind heart, infectious laugh and passionate outlook on life. I was grateful to become friends with her. It seems fitting the latest Dead documentary is out today–I know she was in the house to watch it. She will be missed more than words can express.


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *