David Lees, Michael Torres & Ryan Lancehrough, Mauricio and Roger Padilha


David Lees

My dearest friend Sherry and I met on the dance floor at Studio 54 and she
said to me, "Hi I'm Sherry the Baroness Von Koeber” and I said, "Wow, you
must be important!" And she said, "Well, I know how to live an exciting
life!" We connected instantly. This was 1979 and I was just hired as the
club's in-house designer.

Sherry immediately made me feel loved. She looked at me with those
attentive eyes, that did indeed sparkle! She had such style, and was very
smart. We were kindred spirits from the beginning and, as they say, "She
had me at hello."

For over 42 years we were devoted friends. Together we'd kibbitz about
life, family, Sylvia Miles, and all the other celebrities she would continue to
meet. With her camera in hand, wearing a chic outfit, and a stunning hat
that you could see from a distance, she managed to have her picture
taken with countless celebrities all with smiles, as if they had known
Sherry forever.

Arm in arm, we attended celebrity studded parties and special events and
each time, Sherry adorned yet another delightful hat that instantly received
attention. People would say –– "Oh what a wonderful hat!" –– and her response
was always a simple and poised, "Thank you." And then she added,
"What's your name?" Sherry was always about the other person and
learning about their lives and then saying to me "how interesting that
person is." She loved people –– especially the ones with either an attitude, a
look, or an original presence.

It was after the sun went down that Sherry really came to life. She would
be at each event, divinely dressed with one of her signature hats ––
many of which were designed by the famous "Mr. John," her neighbor and
the guy that created Audrey Hepburn's black and white hat for the movie
My Fair Lady. I thought Sherry was the "toast of the town" and when
she entered a room there was definitely added brilliance. It's not that she
would light up the room, it's that the people in the room would light up ––
especially those who encountered her for the first time. They were always
enchanted by her presence. And ... when Sherry handed them her
oversized elegant card that read "Sherry, Baroness Von Koeber" they
truly felt like they were in the presence of royalty.  And they were.
Sherry definitely had "class" that few people have today. She was truly a
lady –– thoughtful, well mannered, stylish and elegant. I remember when
she picked me up in her little car –– yes, at 80 years old, she was driving!
She said, "David, tonight we are going to a ‘Truly Elegant Party!’” So off we
went … and when we arrived it was anything but elegant. In fact, instead of
sitting on a luxurious satin sofa, the two of us sat on a radiator next to the
window. Lifting our paper cups filled with cheap wine, we toasted each
other. "David," she said, "this is truly an elegant party ..." We laughed about
this for many years!

Sherry would always say, "Isn't it funny the things we remember?" She
recalled an aunt telling her when she was 7 years old that she was "a little
thick around the middle." Imagine," Sherry said, "telling a little girl ... me,
who was very concerned about always looking her best, that I had to lose
some weight … how disturbing!"

It's challenging for me to close this little memory of Sherry as I want this
story not to stop. I hold so dear my memory of her and am so grateful to
have known such a wonderful, loving and magnificent lady.
Here's to you Sherry, the party won’t be the same without you –– but I know
that whenever I see things sparkle –– they will be you.




Michael Torres & Ryan Lancehrough

It is difficult to know where to begin with remembering someone so near and dear to our hearts. What an honor it was to know and have had such a genuine friend as Sherry for 30 plus years. 

She was always young at heart and had an infectious laugh. Her fashion, style and grace were simply magical.  Even after we moved from New York we managed to maintain a consistent relationship through the telephone. When she had her 90th birthday she revealed to us for the first time her age. I asked her why she felt it was important for her to tell us after all these years? Her response was "You only have one life and I am thrilled that I am the age I am. I don't feel that age at all,  and it's just a number and I am thrilled to share it with you." 

I asked Sherry if she had any regrets in life.  Her response was, "No regrets and I would never want to change anything that life has given me."  

She always spoke with so much love for her family. Her children, grandchildren and great grandchildren were her pride and joy. When she joined Silver-Sneakers she expressed to us her enjoyment of that program and the friends she made through it.  We had recently spoke to her and she still has a passion to talk about the good old days and her genuine concern and care for us.  New York would certainly have been different for us without her and we will always cherish her memory in our hearts and gratitude.  Thank you Sherry for letting us be part of your life and for always making us feel special. Our hearts are broken.  We will remember you always with the deepest respect, gratitude and love.  

Your friends forever, Michael & Ryan ––

Mauricio and Roger Padilha

For as long as we can remember, Sherry was omnipresent at every important New York nightlife event. Before Mayor Giuliani decimated the city’s thriving club scene, it was not uncommon to have a dozen or so events happening each night every night of the week. Competition was fierce between the club owners and promoters to pull in the crème de la crème of nightlife and dedicated club goers were always very concerned with being at the “right” party. One sure sign that one had landed at the supreme event of the night was the sight of a brightly colored feather flickering in the center of a crowd of celebrities, drag queens, society people and other bold-faced names.

Aside from her ubiquitous Mr. John hats with the aforementioned feather, Sherry’s other trademark was her sparkling personality. She seemed to never forget a name or a face and always asked after your family, employees, or any other detail she may have gleaned the last time she saw you. In the often shallow landscape of New York parties, Sherry’s sincerity stood out and it’s no surprise that so many people who encountered her felt as if she was family, an Auntie Mame that was infinitely more glamorous and fabulous than one’s true family members.

After the heyday of New York nightlife ended, Sherry was most often seen sitting front row at the shows held during New York Fashion Week. Always the first to arrive, the producers and coordinators of these events loved Sherry as they knew that she could be sat next to the most temperamental of editors and celebrities and charm them instantly, thus brightening up a mood that could lead to a more favorable review.

The last time we saw her was after one of these shows. We accompanied her to the entrance and offered to order an uber to bring her home. She declined saying she would rather walk and our whole team (which ranged in ages from 20 to 45) watched her happily stride away, amazed at her agility at the then age of 95 and congeniality. We all wished we would be able to live a life like hers.