Sherman Eddie Washington, Jr.

    December 13, 1925  -  March 14, 2011


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Life Legacy


The Lord is my Sheppard; I shall not want. He maketh me to lie down in green pastures; he leadeth me beside the still waters. He restoreth my soul; he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake. Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me. Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life; and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever. Psalm 23
His Story
My husband, our father, my brother, our grandfather, our friend…
On March 14, 2011 at 2:36 a.m. the music stopped and his lyrics became a reality. Sherman Eddie Washington, Jr. at the age of ¬¬85 was called home by his Heavenly Father.
Brother Sherman Washington, Jr. was born on December 13, 1925 in Thibodaux, Louisiana. He was the son of the late Rev. Sherman, Sr. and Hattie Washington. He was affectionately known to everyone as “Sherman”. He confessed Christ at an early age. He was educated in Lafourche Parish. He always had a desire to sing. Therefore, it was not by coincidence that he met Benjamin Maxon while working at Higgings Shipyard. During the Gospel Golden Era (1939), Maxon discovered a group of young men, including Sherman who were living in Zion City, a small community in New Orleans. In 1948, Maxon was called to preach and Sherman became manager of the Zion Harmonizers. The group was well-known for singing a cappella. Sherman was an enthusiastic and productive individual always asking the Lord to let him be a more powerful leader. In 1956, Sherman was successful in securing the first weekly radio broadcast for the Zion Harmonizers on radio station WMRY which later became WYLD. He was our Gospel informant for New Orleans, River Parishes, Lafourche Parish, and surrounding areas for over 45 plus years. After working diligently over 30 years for Boh Bros. Construction Company and singing gospel, Sherman chose retirement so he could focus more on his gospel career. The Zion Harmonizers recorded for the first time in 1956 for the Avant label of Dallas and went on to record for Gotham Records of Philadelphia, New Orleans based Booker label, Flying Fish label, Ponchartrain Records, Sound of New Orleans, Mardi Gras Records, and C & G Music Partners (Carla DeCorte and Gerard Kerkvliet). Under the leadership of Sherman, The Zion Harmonizers were victorious in recording several CDs such as Best of New Orleans Gospel, New Orleans Gospel Glory, A Gospel Christmas, and God Promised Me. In 1969, Sherman Washington and the Zion Harmonizers performed Gospel at the first annual Jazz Festival, which was held in Congo Square. Later, Sherman was approached by Quint Davis (Jazz Festival CEO of Festival Productions, Producer and Director) to coordinate and organize the now famous gospel tent. The gospel tent flourished over the years and provided opportunities for local and national artists alike. Sherman’s passion for gospel music was beyond comprehension. He always wanted to open the door for old and new talent. Sherman worked triumphantly for over 4 decades until poor health no longer permitted him to accomplish his vision.
Sherman Washington, Jr. was the last original member of the Zion Harmonizers and had been singing for ¬71 years. He traveled extensively with the group to perform throughout the United States and Europe including; Italy, Belgium, Holland, the Netherlands, Germany, France, and Portugal. Under the leadership of Sherman, the Zion Harmonizers received numerous accolades and recognitions. The group has won the “Grand Staff Award” for Best Quartet from the New Orleans Chapter of the Gospel Workshop of America, the Big Easy Award for “Best of New Orleans Gospel” numerous years, and OffBeat’s Best of the Beat in Gospel to mention a few. There is so much more that can be said about a legend such as Sherman Washington and his contributions to the gospel world, but his legacy will continue on in song.
Early in life, Sherman married his former wife, Mary Louise McCaskill, and to that union three children were born; Sherman Washington, Denise Washington Jolly, and Byron Washington. Later in life, Sherman met and was joined in holy matrimony to Irma “Shirley” Mae Boyd, who he would spend the rest of his life. Sherman not only gained a devoted wife, but also four more children, Janice (Blondie) Scott, Ardine (Deanie) Boyd, Myron Neil and Avery Boyd.
His loving memory will be cherished by his faithful wife Shirley Mae Washington; his sons Sherman (Wanda) Washington, Byron (Yolanda) Washington, Myron (Terri) Boyd, and Avery Boyd; his daughters Denise Washington Jolly, Janice Scott, and Ardine Boyd; his sister Leola Griffin (Los Angeles, CA); his Goddaughter Dremetericus “Dede” Thurmond, his sisters-in-law and brothers-in-law; 10 grandchildren, 4 great-grandchildren, and a host of nieces, nephews, extended family and friends, Board of Trustees and staff of the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival, and his dedicated brothers of the Zion Harmonizers.
To be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord. II Corinthians 5:8
Sherman was preceded in death by his parents, Rev. Sherman, Sr. and Hattie Simms Washington; four brothers, Nolan, Lawrence, Welton, and Norman Washington; five sisters, Elnora Henry, Helen Brock, Effie Rogers, Josephine Manuel, and Thelma Young.
And God shall wipe all tears from their eyes. Revelations 21:4




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Born: December 13, 1925

Place of Birth: Thibodaux, LA

Death: March 14, 2011

Place of Death: Boutte, LA

Occupation: Gospel Songer

Organizations: N. O. Jazzfest Gospel Tent


Shirley Mae Washington , Spouse

Sherman (Wanda) Washington, Son

Byron (Yolanda) Washington, Son

Myron (Terri) Boyd, Son

Avery Boyd, Son

Denise Washington Jolly, Daughter

JaNice Scott, Daughter

Ardine Boyd, Daughter

Leola Griffin of Los Angeles, CA, Sister

Dremetericus "Dede" Thurmond, God-Daughter

10 Grandchildren

4 Great-grandchildren

Sisters-in-law

Brothers-in-law

Nieces and Nephews

Gospel Music Family

Several Extended Family Members


Rev. Sherman Washington, Sr., Father

Hattie Simms Washington, Mother

Nolan Washington, Brother

Lawrence Washington, Brother

Welton Washington, Brother

Norman Washington, Brother

Elnora Henry , Sister

Helen Brock, Sister

Effie Rogers, Sister

Josephine Manuel, Sister

Thelma Young, Sister


Memorial donations may be made to:
American Heart Association

This memorial provided by:
Boyd-Brooks Funeral Service, LLC.
New Orleans, LA