Craig McSherry, local arm wrestling world champion, dies at 76

Craig McSherry, Sr., a champion arm wrestler known for career achievements and travels, died on March 17. He was 76.

Born in Dayton, McSherry’s life was full of adventure, and profound achievement.


McSherry was inspired to take up arm wrestling after he went to see an arm wrestling competition that his younger brother, Brian, participated in, according to a 1994 profile of him in the Dayton Daily News.

As an adult, McSherry competed as an arm wrestler, where he became a world champion and represented the United States as a flag carrier at the opening ceremony of the 1994 Goodwill Games.

On that trip the brothers participated in exhibition games with the Red Army, The Russian Navy and finally the Russian National Team.

“What they are going to do is soften us up until we get to the national team, I know it,” McSherry said with a laugh before the trip.

A lifelong athlete, McSherry played football as a tackle during his high school and college years but thought the Goodwill Games would top all of that.

“It’s probably the greatest athletic accomplishment of my life, just making it to the team, the pinnacle of my athletic career. It’s one of those rocking chair memories,” McSherry said in 1994.

Craig and Brian McSherry both traveled around the nation and the world arm wrestling, winning many competitions.

Craig McSherry won Ohio, Kentucky, West Virginia and Michigan state titles. In 1993 he placed highest of any American at the World Championships in Canada, taking fourth in his class. He also placed third in the seniors class, which combined all weight classes.

“We’re both to stubborn to quit. We push each other. We’ve probably told each other we’re going to quit at least 10 times,” Craig McSherry said.

Career and travels

McSherry was a graduate of Fairmont East High School in Kettering and Ohio Northern University, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in chemistry.

While he began his career as a chemist for General Morots, he later went on to excel in information technology for companies such as EDS, LexisNexis, Iams, Procter & Gamble, MDVIP and Walmart, according to his obituary.

An avid hunter, fisherman, and outdoorsman, McSherry had a profound love for exploring the American West. He traveled to nearly every corner of this earth, and he relished the diverse set of cultures and experiences he encountered.

A celebration of life

Craig was preceded in death by his mother, Ruth Anne, step-father, David, and father, Roland. He leaves behind a loving family: his wife, Chris; siblings, Brian (Cindy), Cathy, and Rollie (Sue); daughters, Heather and Emily (David); sons, Craig “Alan” Jr. (Anita), Brett, Andy (Nguyet) and Ben (Daniela); daughter-in-law Susan; grandchildren, Jessi (Jeremy), Scarlet, Jennifer, Thomas, Caitlyn, Stella, Frankie, and Daphne; and great-grandchildren, Jackson, Amelia, and Bailey.

A celebration of life will be held April 27 from 2 to 6 p.m. at Paw Paw Pavilion in Kettering. In lieu of flowers, donations are appreciated at

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