With love for the life we shared and heartbreak at her loss, my children and I announce the loss of my best friend and wife of 48 years, Cheryl Moncrief. We were high school sweethearts and were together for 53 years. Life without her is unimaginable.
Cheryl was born to Walt and Helen Boyd and grew up in Whittier, California. I met her there and nearly immediately we went steady.
She was 15 and I was 16. She fell for me because I had been injured in football and was on crutches; sympathy works.
After high school, Cheryl attended UCLA majoring in French. She has maintained contact with many of her dear friends from college, treasuring their company throughout her life. I attended Rice and made the cross country drive to LA several times a year to see her. Our summers were spent together in the LA area. We were married during our college years and have two wonderful children, Vicki Hassman and Tracy Moncrief. Vicki's husband Brian Hassman loved Cheryl as well and has been an important part of our lives. We have four grandchildren, Matt, Nick, and Sabrina Mounts and Eli Hassman. Cheryl, Grammy, was devoted to her grandchildren. Nobody loved babies more than Cheryl, and every new one filled her heart with more love.
Cheryl adapted well to frequent moves throughout our lives together. She moved to Texas, to California, to West Germany, to Colorado, to Boston, then back to Texas. She enjoyed saying "I'm not from Texas but I got here as fast as I could!" Colorado was one of her favorite places to live, but she always talked about the beaches in California, the smell of the orange blossoms and gardenias, and the bluebonnets of Texas.
Cheryl was a Cordon Bleu trained chef and I benefited from some of the best meals anyone ever ate. She was a devotee of Julia Child and Hugh Carpenter and ran a cooking school in Southern California. I will really miss her cooking.
Cheryl was also a champion quilter and photographer, winning prizes in competitions for both. Her quilts are prized by many; she always tried to make a baby quilt when a new baby came along to one of our friends. Our home is decorated in the quilts she made over a lifetime. A leader in the Houston quilt scene, she is a former president of the Houston Quilt Guild, member of the Neartown Bee and attended quilting shows and entered contests. Cheryl was always busy planning the next beautiful piece of art.
Cheryl was also a watercolorist and stained glass artist. She created many of my favorite pictures painting scenes from our summer home in Vail, Colorado. Her paintings and stained glass are hung in our home with love, as well as in the homes of our children. Cheryl was a talented artist, and loved impressionistic style both in her painting and in some of her quilts.
Cheryl loved to travel around the world with her family. While living near Frankfurt, Germany, we traveled all over western Europe. Cheryl enjoyed cruises and took many, to Alaska, to the Caribbean, to Greece and Italy and to Australia and New Zealand.
Cheryl fought a three year battle with cancer. Although cancer took her life, it did not take her spirit or our memories of her. Special thanks to Dr. Michael Frumovitz of MD Anderson for the care he provided and to the Houston Hospice for their end of life care.
Cheryl was one of the kindest, most loving people ever. I know that her many friends will miss her as much as I and our family will. Please join me in remembering and celebrating her life. She will be missed.
Published in Houston Chronicle on May 4, 2014