Jerry and Sherri (Silcox) Ludwig
This bio is a bit different as it begins before graduation and is about 2 members of the Class of 61, Jerry Ludwig and Sherri Silcox Ludwig.
Our bios are intertwined as our lives have been for so many great years. Four of the years we were going together with a little pause before marriage. Our story begins in 1960 when we met each other on the SHS swimming team. Jerry had a car, I did not, so in his kindness he gave me a ride from school to practice and then home after practice. Unknowingly that was the start of our life together. That summer Jerry and his best friend Ro Frederick went to Montana to work on Jerry's brother-in-law's ranch. They were busy with a cowboy's life for the summer of 1960. Meanwhile I spent the summer with friends at the beach and going to the movies and baby sitting.
Our Senior year was great fun. We were still swimming for SHS, making plans for Prom, Graduation, the last summer and college. Jerry was off to the University of Florida rooming with his friend Ro. I was going to FSU but to my surprise the family funds just could not stretch so I was heading into the job market in Sarasota. I was hired by Florida Power and Light Company and took some classes at MJC, visited Jerry in Gainesville as often as I could so time flew by.
After having a great time at U of F in part of 1962 and '63 Jerry was back in Sarasota attending MJC. We had somewhat of a split so Jerry was hanging out with friends of his from our class, George Edwards, Ben Kirkconnell, John Walker, Glenn Goodman and Robert Artigas fishing, hunting and scuba diving. The summer of '62 we were back together. I was still with the Power Company and loved my job. To my surprise in 1964 Jerry asked me to marry him. Jerry had graduated from MJC and we were married January 2, 1965. What a great way to start the New Year. We packed up and moved to U of F but ended up in Tallahassee at FSU. Moving was simple as we lived in a mobile home. Jerry entered the School of Business with a major in Risk Management. We lived in a mobile home park and he was hired as the manager of the park and I worked for a finance company which sure helped put food on the table.
Jerry graduated in the summer of 1966 and went to work the Monday after graduation in the family business, Ludwig-Walpole Company. 46 years now and is still there. We bought a house that had been owned by the Ben Brown family. Their son Ben was in SHS class of '60. After several years we decided we wanted to move to the country. Our good friends Ron and Karen Saba showed us a piece of property down the street from them. We then sold our house to Jack and Vicki Matthias. Don Foley, from our class, designed our house. Bruce Saba, Ron's brother was the builder and we moved in in 1978. We are in the same house and still enjoy living in East Sarasota under beautiful old Oaks. Friends from school seem to always be a part of our lives which we have enjoyed so much.
We started camping with our boys and friends when our youngest was still in diapers. First it was tents, then a popup camper which we bought from John Anderson. John and Janice lived up north, were great friends and offered to deliver it to us when they came down to visit their families.
With our boys and friends we ventured into scuba diving and fishing in the Keys. Later we started snow skiing and did a bit of traveling. Then, deciding we missed North Carolina we found 2 acres, contacted Don Foley again and Don designed a small house while our boys were in college. This house was built by Jon Earp, our classmate and good friend who lives in the mountains with his wife Kay. Both Don and Jon did a terrific job and we love getting away when we can to relax, soak up the beautiful mountain views and enjoy the cooler mountain air during the hot summers at home.
We were blessed with our 2 terrific sons who are also with the company. Gerald E. Ludwig III was the first born then almost 4 years later Robert S. Ludwig arrived. Both our young men are married to wonderful wives who we love like daughters. We are thrilled to have two grandchildren from Robert and his wife. Our Grandson Spencer turned 6 in March and our Granddaughter Aubrie will be 4 in May.
Jerry has been quite pleased to stay in the family business with our sons and thrilled to be a Grandfather. I have loved my life being a wife and mother and now a grandmother. I was very involved in our children's schools as volunteer and clinic "nurse". I became a member of the Junior League helping with and working on their projects for years.
We are very fortunate to have our children and grandchildren so close to us and love spending time with all of them. We are indeed very blessed.
We're looking so forward to seeing everyone at our 50th Class Reunion May 13th and 14th. To reconnect with classmates and friends is always great fun and such a pleasure.