Sherry Rehbein was born on Christmas Day, 1948. She loved Christmas because she loved giving gifts, and bringing joy to people’s faces. She grew up in poverty and was determined to do the best she could raising four boys on her own. She didn’t have a lot to offer, beyond her love and support, but she always tried to make Christmas, her favorite time of year, as special as she could for her children and then her grandchildren. As much as she loved being a mother, she was born to be a grandma! She deeply loved her 8 grandchildren, and spoiled them as much as she could. She insisted it was the most important job in the world. She was thrilled to welcome the birth of her first great grandson! She was diagnosed with advanced breast cancer in October of 1995 and over the next 5 years underwent a tremendous amount of painful treatments. She went from being told to get her affairs in order to being proud to say she kicked cancer’s butt! Twelve years later she was diagnosed with uterine cancer and spent the next several years battling through more treatment but she kept her cool and insisted she was tougher than cancer, and again she was triumphant. In October of 2013, after going in for treatment for pneumonia, the large inoperable cancerous tumor on her lung was discovered, pressing against her heart and closing off one of her lungs. She was told she had weeks without treatment and maybe a couple months with treatment. She again underwent a tremendous amount of painful and nauseating treatments. A year later, in October 2014, the cancer had spread to her brain. She received all the treatments available to her and was told she had very little time left.
But Sherry is a fighter and simply refused to give up.
In October of 2015, 2 years post lung cancer and 1 year post brain cancer, and long after all the experts had predicted she would have been long gone; she kept planning for the future. Her wish was to make it to one last Christmas. As Christmas day, her birthday, approached, the days appeared to become more painful and exhausting for her. But she was determined to see her 67th birthday, and wanted to be surrounded by all her children and grandchildren.
And although she had a number of days prior where she struggled to make it, on Christmas day she was filled with her trademark spunk and was beaming with joy. She delighted in tasting her birthday cake while her family sang happy birthday to her for the last time. She was so happy to have her grandchildren with her on her special day. The last two smiles she would ever give went to her grandson and her great grandson. The day after Christmas, after fulfilling her final wish, she fell asleep and didn’t wake up again. She died peacefully at home on Tuesday, December 29th. While focusing on the hardships of life can be off-putting, we share the trials of our mother here, in her obituary, because she was proud of her scares. For those who knew our mother, she was tough, brave and fearless. She gave hope to others facing cancer or other hardships, for she would share her story proudly and encourage them to never give up, as she never gave up. She saw each scar as a victory. She was a warrior that had outlasted that which tried to bring her down.
Mom enjoyed bingo, fishing, hunting, camping, being outdoors, gardening, feeding the ducks, being a mother and a grandmother.
She is survived by her children; Roger Rehbein, Seric Rehbein, Jason (Heather) Rehbein, and Kevin (Jessica) Rehbein. And her Grandchildren; Breanna Potvin (great-grandson Kratos Potvin), Daphne and Xander Rehbein, Ellie and Ezra Rehbein, and Dylan, Paige and Ethan Fuller.
She is preceded in death by her mother and step-father Virginia and William Boss.
Visitation will be on Friday, Jan. 8th from 4:00 – 7:00 pm at Smith Funeral Chapel, Eau Claire. Funeral services will be on Saturday, Jan. 9th at 11:00 am with a visitation an hour prior to services at Smith Funeral Chapel. Burial will follow services on Saturday at Forest Hill Cemetery, Eau Claire. Friends and family may leave condolences online at www.smithfuneralec.com.