McSherry was a local farmer and rancher, and served eight terms in the New Mexico House of Representatives – from 1982 to 1998 – representing District 32 in Luna County and part of Dona Ana County.
As a legislator, McSherry served on a number of committees, including the Agriculture and Water Committee, which he chaired for six terms. In 2001, then-Gov. Gary Johnson appointed McSherry to the state’s Water Trust Board, as a representative of acequia water users. He also was named to the Governor’s Blue Ribbon Task Force on Water, and was considered an expert on the history of water rights and usage in New Mexico.
While a member of the Legislature, McSherry was instrumental in bringing funding to this area for the development of Spring Canyon, Rock Hound and Pancho Villa state parks, the Deming-Luna-Mimbres Museum, the Deming Civic Center, the Deming Senior Center and the New Mexico State Police facilities in Deming, as well as a number of highway improvement projects.
In 1991, McSherry received the Philip J. Leyendecker Agriculturalist of Distinction Award from NMSU’s College of Agriculture and Home Economics. In 2003, he received an Honorary Doctorate from NMSU.
McSherry was born in 1924 in Dwyer, N.M., a small community in southwest New Mexico that no longer exists. He married Clara Jo – or “Jody” – in 1945, and together they had seven children.
McSherry told a New Mexico State University reporter that he and Jody spent their lives “raising the three Cs – cotton, cattle and children.”