Sharry Lynn Konopski DeBolt, who twice posed for Playboy and who lived a colorful but sometimes tragic life, died Friday at the age of 49 from complications from pneumonia and other medical problems.
“This woman went through more adversity and pain and I don’t know how she did it,” said her husband of 10 years, Joseph Randall of Silver Lake.
“She was just Sharry. If anybody could do it, she could do it. I just still don’t know how, because she was just constantly getting hit, punched, smashed. I don’t know how to describe the constant barrage of bad things that came her way, as far as pain and suffering.”
Konopski DeBolt, who grew up in Longview, was Miss August 1987 for Playboy. She posed for the magazine in March 1997, even though she’d been paralyzed from the waist down by a triple rollover accident on Spirit Lake Memorial Highway in 1995. Randall said DeBolt was only person to ever pose nude for Playboy both able-bodied and as a person with disabilities.
After the first Playboy shoot, she married Mark DeBolt, who worked at a Woodland cabinet firm, and settled near Silver Lake. The couple had two kids, Spencer and Sierra. She and DeBolt then went through a nasty divorce and custody battle.
In 1997, her father, Mike Nerheim, hired bounty hunters to seize Mark DeBolt in the Kelso Target parking lot and take him to Phoenix to settle a misdemeanor charge of writing bad checks. Nerheim was later arrested and stood trial, along with the three bounty hunters, for felony unlawful imprisonment charges. The charges were overturned, although they still had to pay Mark DeBolt a $140,000 jury award.
Konopski DeBolt also earned notoriety for owning 21 peacocks on her Silver Lake property, which drove neighbors to file complaints with the Cowlitz County Humane Society in 2009.
In 2007, she made a life commitment to Randall, a caregiver from Eastern Washington. Randall said he met Konopski DeBolt when she was signing autographs at a car show in Woodland, and they fell in love after talking all day.
Randall said he and Konopski DeBolt were never apart for more than a week during their 10 years of marriage, and described her as “the coolest person I’ll ever know.”
During her last year of life, Konopski DeBolt struggled with both shingles and then a stroke, one immediately after the other. Randall said through the entire ordeal, Konopski DeBolt kept her poise.
Randall, 47, described his wife as “real,” and said she was always willing to fight for what she wanted.
“She had a very strong soul, and she could pretty much do anything,” he said. “I would call her my warrior. She’s half Comanche and half Norwegian Viking.”
One of Konopski DeBolt’s good friends, who wished to remain anonymous, said of the former model, “She was tough as titanium.”
Services are pending.