In memory of
Sheryl A. Dorney YORK Sheryl Ann Dorney found the rest and peace she so well deserved on Tuesday, October 11, 2016 after a long and difficult illness, and reunited with beloved family members, friends, and her many canine companions who passed on before her. Sheryl "Susie" was born on August 21, 1949 to the late Edward and Dorothy Dorney of Quakertown, and graduated from Quakertown High School with a steadfast determination to someday becoming a defender of public rights. She earned a Bachelor's Degree from Mansfield State College, her law degree from Valparaiso University School of Law, and was admitted to the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania in 1974. Sheryl began her legal career in the York County District Attorney's Office, and soon became the First Assistant District Attorney, prosecuting a number of noteworthy criminal cases. She briefly left public office to work as an associate in a private law firm, and then returned in 1987 after being elected the first woman judge in York County. She served as a judge for almost 26 years, presiding over some of the most difficult and volatile cases, particularly in the area of child custody and child abuse. During her tenure, Judge Dorney broke tradition and wore a less intimidating purple "Barney" judicial robe to ease the fear of children who were required to testify. She was tenacious in character and regarded as a tough judge, but also known in the York area for her many random acts of kindness to complete strangers. Throughout her career, Sheryl advocated for the less fortunate, the neglected and abused, and the underrepresented. She served as Co-Counsel for York County Children and Youth Services and on several Boards of Directors; participated in various business, social interest and advocacy groups; and was recognized with a number of honorary awards. A culmination of years of major, debilitating medical conditions eventually forced her into retirement, but Sheryl remained as independent and active as possible, and found opportunities to travel with friends. Sheryl was a diehard Pittsburgh Steelers' fan, a lover of dogs of all breeds, and an avid World War II history buff. Her family would like to take this opportunity to thank those friends in the York area who remained loyal and patient, caring and supportive, during her final years of declining health. Sheryl leaves behind a sister, Mary Ellen and husband, Thomas Minarik of Coopersburg; two brothers, Edward Dorney and Peter and wife, Lisa Dorney of Quakertown; beloved nephews, Andrew and Collyn; and niece, Ashley; her animal companions; and friends who love her and will miss her very much. A Celebration of Life Tribute service will be held at 3 p.m. Monday, October 17, 2016 at Heffner Funeral Chapel & Crematory, Inc., 1551 Kenneth Road, York with Rev. Lyn Cox of the Unitarian Universalist Church of York officiating. A viewing will be held from 1:30 to 3 p.m. Monday at the Chapel. Please consider making a donation to the American Diabetes Association, P.O. Box 11454, Alexandria, VA 22312 or to York County SPCA, 3159 Susquehanna Trail N, York, PA 17406 in memory of Sheryl or someone else in your life who has been affected by diabetes. Send Condolences at BestLifeTributes.com
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