Obituary: Sam Abbot Sherwood, longtime JP activist

Some people live quiet lives in their neighborhoods; others change the life of the neighborhoods in which they live. Sam Sherwood was a life-changer. He and Sarah Freeman spent decades working together to help make Jamaica Plain the beautiful neighborhood it is today.

He was an ardent environmentalist, a well-known political activist, a renowned raconteur, and a man with an insatiable love of life. Whether it was music, movies, theater, history, photography or world travels, Sam’s passions ran deep and his knowledge of each and every one of his interests was remarkable. With his long and often unruly hair and his booming laugh, Sam was hard to miss and easy to like.

Named after Sam Houston, Sam was a native Texan educated in both Texas and New York and a veteran of the U.S. Air Force. His military career and later occupations took him around the world before he chose to settle in Jamaica Plain in 1994.

Sam’s passing on March 18, 2015 has left a deep void in the lives of those who remain behind, but his footprint is firmly planted not only in his neighborhood but in the many projects he supported around Boston including the Emerald Necklace Conservancy, the Friends of the Boston Park Rangers Mounted Unit, the Metropolitan Wind Symphony, the Boston Nature Center, the Franklin Park Zoo and the Arnold Arboretum.

Sam is survived by his dearly beloved Sarah Freeman; his three siblings, Mike, Susan and Polly; and his nieces and nephews. A memorial gathering will be held on Sat., June 20 from 4 to 6p.m. in the hall of the First Church Unitarian Universalist, 6 Eliot St. in Jamaica Plain. Please come and share your memories of Sam.

Sam Sherwood leading a concert in Jamaica Pond Park. (Courtesy Photo)

Sam Sherwood leading a concert in Jamaica Pond Park. (Courtesy Photo)

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