The entire Western Nevada College community is deeply saddened to learn of the unexpected death of Dr. Sherry Neil-Urban, a nursing professor at the college since 2003.
Sherry touched many studentsâ€™ lives through her 11 years of instruction and college service, and was highly respected by her peers. She taught in covered multiple areas in the Associate Degree Nursing Program, from foundational courses and laboratory experiences to advanced clinical theory. She most recently taught Advanced Clinical Nursing Theory and Foundations of Nursing Laboratory.
â€œOver a period of 10 years, Dr. Neil-Urban has left an indelible imprint on the lives of more than 400 nursing students as they mastered the art and science of nursing,â€ said Dr. Judith Cordia, WNCâ€™s director of Nursing & Allied Health. â€œShe willingly shared her expertise in a caring manner that has helped move the nursing program to be one of the best in the state.
â€œSherry will be missed by all of us who had the pleasure of working with her.â€
College President Chet Burton said, â€œI consider the WNC team to be a family and as such, we all acutely feel the loss of a family member. As family, it is incumbent upon us to pull together when we receive bad news, and I have no doubt that we can rely on each other to get us through this tough time. Please keep Sherry’s family and loved ones in your thoughts and prayers and give a loved one a hug this evening and tell them how much they mean to you.â€
Neil-Urban earned a Bachelor of Science degree from Sonoma State University, then completed a Master of Science degree in Health Sience at San Francisco State University and a Master of Science degree in nursing at the University of Mary. She expanded her higher education by obtaining a Ph.D. in Teaching and Learning from the University of North Dakota.
Nursing department colleague Elizabeth Cordero said she treasured the time working with Sherry.
â€œWe miss her! Sherry was such an excellent teacher and cared deeply for all her students,â€ Cordero said. â€œI also take consolation in the fact that she was a woman of deep faith.â€
Continuing Education Coordinator Linda Whitehill will remember Sherryâ€™s genuine smile.
â€œOver the years that I have crossed paths with Sherry, I always saw her with a smile on her face and in her eyes,â€ Whitehill said. â€œFrom my experience, we seldom know when we will see each other for the last time. Be kind and respectful to one another; appreciate your friends, loved ones and the people you see around you. It never hurts to smile and say hello.â€
Speaking on behalf of WNC students, Associated Students of Western Nevada President Angelo DePerez said, â€œToday is a sad day. We need to be thankful that she was able to touch our lives and hearts for the time she was here. No one knows how long each of us is here. Go and hug someone today in memory of Sherry Neil-Urban. She will be missed.â€
Deborah Alves, administrative assistant in Facilities Planning & Management, said that each memory of Sherry is important as the college grieves.
â€œI am saddened to hear about Sherry Neil-Urban’s passing and it is my hope and prayer that we will have strength during this time of loss. I am assured that we will be comforted by our memories and our love for Sherry during this difficult time,â€ she said. â€œLet us hold close those who are dear to us and mend any broken relationships while there is still time.â€
A service celebrating the Sherry’s life is scheduled for 11 a.m. Friday, Sept. 5, at the First Congregational Church, 627 Sunnyside Drive, in Reno. Lunch will be served after the service at the church, and later, attendees are invited to Sherryâ€™s house, 4365 Bitteroot Road, in Reno.