his Life

Sherwin Edmund Rugless’ story began on November 23, 1954 at Andrews Memorial Hospital in Kingston, Jamaica where he was born to Pastor Oswald and Mrs. Admah Rugless.  He was the second of four children.  His childhood and teenage years were spent in Jamaica after which he migrated to Maryland where he and his wife Florence lived until his passing on April 4, 2019.

As the child of a Seventh-day Adventist pastor, Sherwin spent his early years living in different locations in Jamaica – Spanish Town, Morant Bay, Port Antonio and Mandeville where he attended West Indies College High School. Sherwin’s parents taught him to love Jesus and modeled Christian behavior in their home.  Sherwin’s favorite hymn was Marching to Zion which he requested frequently during family worships.

From a very early age, Sherwin was interested in and showed an aptitude for music.  Over the years, he learned to play several musical instruments – the piano, trumpet, and guitar.  He taught his brother Tony to play the guitar.  He was a member of his high school band and enjoyed musical composition and arrangement. 

Sherwin was an athlete. He was a formidable soccer and ping pong player in his youth.  He also became an accomplished chess player.  As a teenager in Jamaica, he had become enamored with chess and began studying strategy and competing in tournaments sponsored by the Jamaica Chess Federation.  As his chess ranking increased, he purchased and studied multiple books on chess strategy. Chess became a very important part of his life and continued to be throughout his adult life.  He was always anxious to share his knowledge of chess and teach others about the game.  

Sherwin was family-oriented and friendly.  He loved his parents and his baby sister, Lori-Ann.  He loved his brothers, Oswald Jr. and Tony.  As boys, the three brothers enjoyed spending family time playing a mean game of Monopoly.  Lifelong bonds were formed between the brothers during these competitive sessions.

Over the years as family and friends were separated, Sherwin kept in regular contact with each one via telephone.  When Sherwin’s Mom passed from Alzheimer’s disease in 1999, he expressed “Look what the devil has done to my sweet mother!”  When his brother Oswald passed in 2017, he said to Tony “Our lives here on earth are a window of opportunity to prepare for heaven.”  He continued by saying “I am confident that Junior was ready to meet Jesus.”  Sherwin was never happier than when surrounded by family and friends. 

Sherwin and Florence got married in the early 1980s at West Indies College in Mandeville, Jamaica, after which they moved to Maryland and established their new home.  There, Sherwin continued focusing on music composition and arrangement, eventually releasing a CD in 2004 titled The Sherwin Rugless Project: the Wonder of God’s Love on which he composed all of the songs.  This CD, created in collaboration with A.T. Westney and Reger Smith, Jr., is available on YouTube.

Sherwin loved God. Though he faced health challenges during his lifetime, he was determined to put God first and to use his musical abilities to share God’s love with others. He dedicated his talents to God’s cause and resolved to create only religious music.  His greatest desire was that his music would be an instrument to point others to Jesus.

On Thursday, April 4, 2019, Sherwin’s story ended on this earth.  He will be missed by his brother Tony (Fely), sister Lori-Ann, nephew Richard and other relatives and friends.  His influence and his music live on.

Rest now, Sherwin, until that beautiful, musical reunion in heaven.