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Dawn Scherer

Longtime supporter of arts, loving mother and grandmother

Dawn Burleigh Scherer of Claremont died May 31, 2014 at Pomona Valley Hospital following a very brief illness. Mrs. Scherer was surrounded by her family and a great amount of love.

Dawn Valerie Burleigh was born on May 27, 1942 to Ed and Mattie Burleigh in Greenfield, Massachusetts. She was a graduate of Greenfield High School in 1960, and then attended Chamberlain College in Boston, where she majored in marketing and public relations. She studied watercolor painting with Stephen Hamilton and oil painting with Stephen Munity, well-known artists in Massachusetts.

In June of 1963, the then Miss Burleigh met Nelson Scherer of Claremont. The couple married on August 15, 1964 in Greenfield after Mr. Scherer was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in the US Army. The couple began their life together in Fort Benning, Georgia. They later lived in Lanesboro, Massachusetts and in San Jose, California for a time before settling in Pomona, California and then in Claremont in 1992 at the longtime Scherer family home.

An avid supporter of the arts for over three decades, Mrs. Scherer was a frequent president of the Pomona Valley Art Association. She also worked for advertising agencies, radio and television stations and political candidates. She was a past Cultural Arts Commissioner for the city of Pomona and served on the boards of the Claremont and Pomona Heritage societies as well as The Webb Schools of California, Foothill Country Day School and Pomona Valley Art Association.

Seven years ago, Mrs. Scherer established the Artist Demonstrator Program for the Millard Sheets Center for the Arts and coordinated the Sheets Center Gallery Store during the Los Angeles County Fair during each of those years.

Family members noted that Mrs. Scherer was known by friends as a North Star to many lost travelers, always shining bright and giving guidance, generosity, hope and love. She became a mother to anyone who needed one and a friend to everyone who crossed her path.

Friends confirmed that. “Ah, where to start,” commented Tony Sheets of Claremont. “She was an incredible person who picked up strays, took in kids whose parents weren’t doing right by them—she was a very talented person, a wonderful part of the [Millard Sheets[ gallery—and  provided opportunities for many local artists.”

Chris Stoner-Meyer, one of Mrs. Scherer’s associates at the Sheets Gallery, reflected of her friend, “She was a wonderful, dedicated ‘mother to all’—just a great person.”

Mrs. Scherer is survived by her husband, Nelson Scherer; by her brother and sister-in-law, Bill and Elizabeth Burleigh of Lakewood, California; by her daughters and sons-in-law, Jenny and Chris Carlson of Kirkland, Washington and Laurel and Tripp Meister of Laguna Beach and by her son, David Scherer of Claremont. She also leaves her grandchildren, Jeffrey, Kevin and Lucas Carlson, Hailey and Ty Meister and numerous nieces and nephews.

A memorial service in honor of Mrs. Scherer will be held on Saturday, June 14, 2014 at 1:30 p.m. at Trinity Methodist Church in Pomona.

—Pat Yarborough

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