A Columbus woman's quest to pay respect to a forgotten cartoonist

In late April, the GoFundMe campaign to pay for a long overdue burial and grave marker for the pioneering cartoonist Barbara Shermund reached its goal of $8,556 in just over four months. The crowdfunding effort was organized by Amanda Gormley, Shermund’s half niece, and Caitlin McGurk, an associate curator at Ohio State’s Billy Ireland Cartoon Library and Museum.

Columbus Monthly's February issue covered McGurk and Gormley's mission; the two women were brought together by their fascination with Shermund, one of the first women to publish cartoons in The New Yorker, among other national magazines. She died in 1978 and was estranged from her family, so her cremains sat in a New Jersey funeral home for 35 years until Gormley tracked them down (the two never met).

On May 6, Gormley, of Reno, Nevada, and McGurk plan to travel to San Francisco, where Shermund was born and where her mother is buried, to lay Shermund’s cremains to rest in a private interment, according to a message sent to supporters of the GoFundMe campaign. To read more about McGurk, Gormley and Shermund, check out the full story from the February issue.


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