Sheryl Chaffee was born in Kingsville, Texas; she is the daughter of Roger and Martha Chaffee. Sheryl grew up in Houston, Texas during the Apollo space race, moved to Florida in 1979 and began her career at NASA in 1983.
Sheryl's father, Roger was an Apollo astronaut. Roger died in the Apollo 1 fire along with Gus Grissom and Ed White on January 27, 1967. Sheryl’s mother, Martha served on the Astronaut Memorial Foundation Board of Directors from 2008 to 2013.
Sheryl's career at NASA spanned 33 years. She held several positions during her years of service. Her last position was as the Real Property Officer at the Kennedy Space Center where she was accountable for all real property assets on the Center. Sheryl retired from NASA December 2016.
Sheryl has been an active supporter of the Astronauts Memorial Foundation since its inception. She participated in fund raising events and committee meetings during the development of the Astronauts Memorial Foundation and the Center for Space Education. She has received various awards and recognitions including a Community Service Award from the Astronauts Memorial Foundation and Outstanding Contribution recognition from the Telephone Pioneer of America North Florida Charter 39.
She supports local cancer center charitable events, has volunteered to work the Melbourne Art Festival 5K run and regularly participates in beach clean ups. She enjoys traveling, boating, biking and the beach. Sheryl is married to Grady Thomas, has two grown sons, a daughter-in-law and three grandchildren.