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'He really did believe in the Golden Rule'

April 12, 2005|by KAREN HANNA

karenh@herald-mail.com

HAGERSTOWN - Sally Perryman knew just what to say when the police officer stopped her for speeding. Dad, she said, probably wouldn't let her drive again for quite a while.

"He said, 'I believe it. Drive on home,'" Perryman, 64, said Monday.

Ralph Louis Sharrett, Perryman's father and founder and past president of Sharrett Motors and Sharrett Inc., died in his sleep Sunday, his daughter said. He was 94.

Sharrett was a generous community supporter and a passionate car enthusiast, Perryman and acquaintances said Monday.

He also was a man of his word, Perryman said.

"It was a small town back then," Perryman said. "A lot of people knew each other, and they certainly knew my dad," Perryman said.

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Sharrett bought his first Ford dealership in 1936. Sharrett Inc., which has been on Dual Highway since 1953, now specializes in Volkswagen, Subaru, Mazda, Pontiac, GMC and Buick vehicles.

Sharrett was active in the Kiwanis and loved attending Maryland Symphony Orchestra performances and playing tennis, his daughter said.

"I can say this, he was a fine man," said Pat Lushbaugh, who runs Back Door Antiques. At 85, Lushbaugh said he believes he is now the longest-serving member of the Kiwanis Club. He joined in 1950, about 10 years after Sharrett became a member of the service club.

Perryman said her father believed in being honest and giving back. He was a faithful supporter of the United Way.

"He believed in the Golden Rule. I mean, if you asked him, 'What do you believe?' He wasn't into nit-picky creeds, but he really did believe in the Golden Rule: Do onto others as you would have them do to you," Perryman said.

Sharrett was "a very staunch supporter of the United Way," said Al Martin, a volunteer treasurer for the organization.

"We're certainly going to miss him. I know it was a pleasure getting to know him through the years, and I know his loss will be felt throughout the community," Martin said.

According to Perryman, Sharrett still was interested in cars. When he was younger, Sharrett loved sports cars, such as MGs and Alfa Romeos, and he drove fast, Perryman said. He was hyper and "lived life with gusto."

He still visited the car dealership.

"He didn't really want to work at it, but he wanted to be in the environment. He never was one to just sit around. He was always sort of a live wire," Perryman said.

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