CHERYL DAWN SUMMERS GROSSER, passed peacefully in her home on Monday, Oct. 21, 2013. She was born on April 28, 1944, the eldest daughter of Adren and Doris Summers, of Fort Wayne. She contracted polio at the age of six and remained in a wheelchair all of her life. She spent much of her adolescent years rehabbing at the Roosevelt Warm Springs Institute in Georgia. After high school she attended the University of Illinois, completing her BA and MA in English Literature and then marrying her college sweetheart, Roger Grosser. They moved to Lawrence, Kansas to continue education at KU and there she completed her MPhil. During this time she began a family with the birth of her only child, a daughter, Dawn. She pursued her career in teaching first at Berry College and then Floyd Junior College in Rome, Georgia for five years before moving to Kansas City, Mo. Here she taught at Baker, William Jewel, and then Blue River Community College, where she retired at the age of 67. She was an inspiration and mentor to countless students, a regular participant in a post-polio support group and church book study groups. She was an impassioned advocate for the disabled, a consistent supporter of the arts, an ardent birder and nature's loyal friend. She found great connection and support from her church families throughout her life including Trinity Lutheran in Fort Wayne, Blue Ridge Presbyterian, Second Presbyterian in Kansas City, and Parkway Presbyterian in Corpus Christi, Texas. "To her friends and family she was devoted, loving, and accepting. She valued education, honest self reflection, a large circle of friends, her family and spiritual life." Surviving are her sister, Candle Summers of Hawaii; daughter, Dawn Grosser (Randall Lockridge) of Corpus Christi, Texas; and grandchildren, Morgan Elizabeth Lockridge and Aaron Grey Lockridge. Her indomitable spirit, her unquenchable thirst for knowledge, not only of books but particularly of people, and her unfailing empathy will always be admired and cherished. Memorial service is 2 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 23, 2013 at Second Presbyterian Church, 318 East 55th Street, Kansas City, (MO 64113). In lieu of flowers, donations can be sent to Post-Polio Health International, Metropolitan Community Colleges Foundation to the Fran & Wally Good Reentry Scholarship Fund, Second Presbyterian Church or the World Institute on Disability. Arrangements by Cremation Center of Kansas City, Mo. Condolences may be shared with the family at www.CremationCenterKC.com
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Published in Fort Wayne Newspapers on Oct. 27, 2013