Funeral services set for Hamilton YWCA leader

YWCA Hamilton Executive Director Sherrie Bluester died unexpectedly Monday, Dec. 26, according to YWCA officials. STAFF FILE/2016
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YWCA Hamilton Executive Director Sherrie Bluester died unexpectedly Monday, Dec. 26, according to YWCA officials. STAFF FILE/2016

UPDATE, Dec. 29:

Funeral services for YWCA Hamilton Executive Director Sherrie Bluester will be held at noon Friday, Dec. 30, at Zion Global Ministries, 9180 Cincinnati Columbus Road in West Chester Twp.

INITIAL REPORT, Dec. 28:

The YWCA Hamilton is looking to keep operations stable after the death Monday of its executive director, Sherrie Bluester.

The 50-year-old Bluester died Monday, according to officials from the organization. She took over as executive director of the YWCA in 2010.

Board President Liz Hayden said the organization will take some time to make a decision on a successor.

“ We still are figuring out the details for interim leadership now and then we will deal with the discussion about searching for a replacement,” Hayden said. “We will want to take some time with the replacement search so that we focus on finding the right leader for the organization.”

The YWCA Hamilton serves all of Butler County and operates a domestic violence shelter, a 24-hour crisis hotline and provides housing assistance for women in need due to homelessness, mental illness or addiction issues.

City Manager Joshua Smith said Bluester was well-respected for her efforts to make sure the YWCA’s mission was accomplished not only in Hamilton, but throughout Butler County.

“Sherrie and I were classmates in Leadership Hamilton,” Smith said. “Her passion was helping the underprivileged in our community.”

Woody Fitton, CEO of the Great Miami Valley YMCA, was one of several people in the non-profit business who saluted Bluester for her work.

“ She was a friend and colleague, as our organizations partnered with the (Booker T. Washington Community Center) collaboration and we were fellow Rotarians,” Fitton said. “We also shared an association with the YMCA as she spent many years with the Cincinnati Y prior to joining the YWCA. I will miss her sense of humor and personal warmth.”