Elizabeth “Eli” Sue Sherfey was a sunflower in human translation. Her bright personality and glowing blond hair radiated every space that she entered. She was strong and dependable, an iconic symbol of natural beauty and light; she traveled through life with her face always reaching for the sun. Her eyes were a unique shade of blue that echoed the reflection of water and sky. People were drawn to her, strangers told her stories, children smiled when they saw her face, birds ventured close to her, friends and family flourished in the gifts and care that she gave often. She inspired others to be kind.
She thrived in nature; her wild heart took her around the world on many travels and adventures. Midcoast Maine was her home and the community that she cultivated here supported her growth and cherished her. Elizabeth was known for her unique perspectives and humorous quips; her sense of style and T-shirt collection; her giggles and the laughter that she inspired in others routinely; her wealth of facts and love of learning; her appreciation of the absurd; her kind and generous spirit that was always willing to put her own comfort aside to offer help to others; and her creative talents in writing, music, sketching, and storytelling.
Elizabeth traveled extensively, including a semester at sea where she sailed through the Caribbean from St. Thomas to Trinidad and north to Down East Maine aboard the schooner Harvey Gamage. She traveled solo to the Dominican Republic and Haiti to volunteer for several months in rural communities. She adventured to Ireland, Amsterdam, New Orleans, Joshua Tree, the Everglades, New York City, Atlanta, and many other destinations. She had a love for people and experiencing their unique ways of life, and a passion for protecting their cultures and environment.
She most recently worked at Rock City Cafe in Rockland, as a science teacher in after-school programs, as a translator for Haitian migrant workers seeking medical care in Maine, and as a crew member on multiple tall ships.
She was born on the winter solstice, Dec. 21, 1994 in Washington state. She attended Hope Elementary School, Camden Hills High School, Warren Wilson College in Asheville, and the Florida International Institute in Miami. Later she attended the University of Maine to work toward a degree in applied sciences. She was in the final semester of this program at the time of her death.
She was tragically taken too soon on Feb. 17, 2021 at 26 years old as the result of an automobile accident where another driver crossed into her lane. Waves of grief from this tragic loss have been felt throughout the Midcoast community and across the globe. She will live forever in our hearts and is immensely missed by her mother, Christy Monroe of Rockland; grandparents, Fred and Jean Monroe of South Hope; the Sherfey family of California and Arkansas; and an extensive tribe of family and friends.
Eli mentored teens and volunteered to create opportunities for them to thrive in their community. Donations in her memory can be made to The Landing Place, the youth program of the Knox County Homeless Coalition at homehelphope.org/donate-now; or KCHC, PO Box 1696, Rockland, ME 04841. Condolences to the family can be shared at email@example.com.