Tulsa, Greenwood communities remember Sherry Gamble Smith

TULSA, Okla. — (UPDATE: 07/07; 9 p.m.) — The Tulsa Regional Chamber released a statement on the death of Black Wall Street Chamber of Commerce President Sherry Gamble Smith Thursday.

“All of us at the Tulsa Regional Chamber were deeply saddened to learn of the passing of Sherry Gamble-Smith. She and the Black Wall Street Chamber have long been vital to the regional coalition of chambers that work tirelessly to make northeast Oklahoma better for everyone. We know firsthand how dedicated and visionary Sherry was as a business professional, as a community leader and as an advocate for Tulsa. We send our deepest condolences to all who had the good fortune to work alongside Sherry, and to call her friend and colleague. She was a friend to many, and was always so kind and welcoming, whether you knew her or not. She will be truly missed,” said President and CEO of the Tulsa Regional Chamber.

Bixby Police Department said they are still investigating Gamble Smith and her husband’s deaths, and there are no new updates at this time.

Tulsa Juneteenth released a statement on Facebook on Gamble Smith’s death.

“Due to the recent events please note that the Black Wall Street Chamber of Commerce, as well as the Black Wall Street Business Center will be closed through July 15,” Tulsa Juneteenth wrote. “We appreciate your patience, consideration, and cooperation during this time.”

Tulsa and Greenwood community leaders are mourning the loss of one of their own.

Bixby police said Black Wall Street Chamber President Sherry Gamble Smith was killed in her home near East 111th Street South and South Mingo Road Wednesday morning.

Police officers also found Sherry’s husband in the home with injuries. He later died at a hospital. Police said this was a domestic situation and they are not looking for any suspects, though they’re still investigating what led to the deaths.

Many were devastated to hear about the tragedy, including Greenwood Rising Interim Director Phil Armstrong, who knew Sherry for 25 years.

“This is an amazing, shocking loss for the City of Tulsa, north Tulsa, for the Greenwood community,” said Armstrong. “She would always have a smile, she would always hug you, and she would always have something positive [to say]. This is devastating.”

On top of being the president of the Black Wall Street Chamber of Commerce, Sherry was the organizer of Tulsa’s Juneteenth celebration and she started the Women Empowering and Networking Together nonprofit organization.

“What Sherry Gamble was teaching us is bringing people together,” Armstrong said. “She wanted to work with everyone, black, white, republican, democrat.”

Armstrong said Sherry was also his children’s babysitter.

“From the time they were two to about five or six years old, three to four years, she babysat them on a regular basis,” said Armstrong. “A life gone too soon … She had so much more to do.”

Pastor Jamaal Dyer with Friendship Church said Sherry loved Tulsa, she loved north Tulsa and she really loved Greenwood.

“She had a very, very unique passion for young leaders. She was very intentional about making sure she empowered leaders to be all they could be,” said Dyer.

FOX23 spoke to Sherry three weeks ago, during Tulsa Juneteenth, where she was a festival organizer. She told FOX23 she wanted this year’s Juneteenth to be about entrepreneurship in the community.

“It’s about making sure people know they are free, and to stay free,” said Sherry in June. “It’s all about entrepreneurship. We love to support our black owned businesses.”

Armstrong said his last conversation with Sherry was the weekend. “I said rest, enjoy yourself tonight. You’re running around. Enjoy what you’ve put together tonight.”