Television host, newspaper reporter and columnist, advocate for the Latino community — and last but not least, a professional tarot card reader who tapped into the “healing and therapeutic” aspect of the art.
Denver native Sherri L. Vasquez was a whirlwind of energy who could host a party like no one else while also having the capacity to quietly contemplate the layers of meaning in a Woody Allen film.
“She had a tremendous intellectual curiosity,” said Sherri’s husband of 22 years, Salvador Gomez. “She loved life. This is a profound and crushing loss.”
Vasquez died April 25 in Westminster after suffering a stroke. She was 56.
“She was a stunning beauty when she walked in a room, she lit up the room,” said her longtime friend, Ruth McKinney. “She was kind of the life of the party.”
But Gomez said his wife thought of herself first and foremost as a journalist. She worked at the Rocky Mountain News for most of the 1990s, playing the role of reporter, columnist and editor on the features side of the publication.
She also wrote and edited for the Coloradoan and La Voz Hispana de Colorado.
Vasquez moved on to television after newspapers, working for seven years as host and producer of the nationally syndicated program “Latin View” on PBS. McKinney said her friend hosted more than 100 shows featuring 400 guests.
“Sherri was highly competent,” McKinney said. “She took her job very seriously.”
Vasquez was an advocate for metro Denver’s Latino community, serving as a board member on the Latin American Education Foundation and serving as vice president of marketing for the Denver Hispanic Chamber of Commerce.
“She was always happiest when she could combine her work in journalism with her advocacy for civil rights — and civil rights in the Hispanic community,” her husband said.
In the last year, Gomez said his wife started up her own business, Strategic Tarot.
“She was a certified tarot reader,” her husband said. “She realized that she could offer clients something therapeutic and brighten their lives with it.”
Vasquez earned her bachelor of arts in journalism from the University of Colorado and a master’s degree in marketing and communications from the University of Denver.
She is survived by her husband; mother, Shay Cook; brother, Kenny Vasquez; and many extended family members.
A Celebration of Life will be held June 1 from 2 to 5 p.m. at the University Club of Denver, 1675 Sherman St., in Denver.
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