“She never had anything less than a smile, and she always treated everyone as if they were her son or daughter; she’s a very special lady in that way,” Critchfield said.
It was Brewer’s consistent job that provided steadiness for her husband, the Rev. Dewayne Brewer, as he was called up to serve as an Army chaplain three different times between 2003 and 2006. Dewayne choked back tears as he stood in front of the crowd Friday and tried to summon words to describe his appreciation.
“I’m so grateful to be able to minister here in this county for 20 years, and she has been a big reason,” he said. “I’m very proud of her, because she faithfully worked year after year at the library, and she enabled me to do what God had laid on my heart to do and to minister to you, to many soldiers and their families, and I couldn’t have done it without (her).”
The crowd Friday included members of Brookside Baptist Church and Mt. Pleasant Baptist Church; Dewayne was ordained at Brookside before serving 12 years at Mt. Pleasant. He then returned to Brookside after his deployments and has pastored there for nearly five years.
Sheri had worked at several libraries in Europe, and it was Dewayne who actually picked up the application to work in Jessamine County in 1992 and filled it out for her.
“I picked up the application for her, filled it out and just said, ‘You sign it; you’ve got a place you can go to work,’ because she used to work in the library system for the military over in Germany,” Dewayne said. “She had a whole lot of changes going on in her life at that point, but she went ahead.”
One of the biggest obstacles Sheri faced was being legally blind; she said the library staff was “family” as she struggled and was willing to do anything to accommodate her needs.
“Even the bad days were good; the hard days were good, and it kept me from crawling in a hole and having a pity party; they wouldn’t let me,” she said.
Sheri’s days at the library were filled with humor in addition to the constant support. She has spent the last eight years under the supervision of David Powell; she told Powell her first day working with him that he had to make fun of her on a daily basis.
“He kept his word,” Sheri said.
And Powell kept Sheri with him when he changed departments.
“I moved her over with me from technical services to circulation so I could torment her every day,” he said.
While the sadness about her retirement was evident on both sides, the Brewers will now have a lot more time for family activities — which were very tough for a pastor and a full-time library employee.
“In all the time we’ve been here, she works Monday through Friday and I work every weekend plus days during the week, so we can never have any time other than maybe grabbing a couple of days or something like that,” Dewayne said. “So I said it’d be nice to be able to have some flexibility, to go visit family or do something a little bit longer than two days.”
Friday at the courthouse, Sheri received honors and recognitions from Gov. Steve Beshear, state Sen. Tom Buford, state Rep. Bob Damron, Nicholasville Mayor Russ Meyer, Jessamine County clerk Eva McDaniel, and Doug Day with Freedom Fund Fest. Her friends at the library presented her with a clock after giving her several small gag gifts at a library reception Thursday.
Sheri said walking out of the library Friday was the hardest thing she ever did.
“There is no other place to work that is like that place,” she said. “Work gets done, but it is a pleasure ... I’ve worked in libraries in Europe; I’ve worked lots of places. Never, ever have I worked in a place like that. It’s family; it really is.”