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Cheryl Anne Harvey Essenwanger

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Cheryl Anne Harvey Essenwanger Obituary
In the morning of June 18, 2014, at 11:30 am, Cheryl passed away peacefully at UC Davis Medical Center Neurosurgery Intensive Care Unit in Sacramento, California, as a result of an aneurysm rupture in her head suffered on June 2, 2014. Cheryl was surrounded by her loving husband, son and daughter-in-law at the time of her passing. Cheryl was 68 years old.

Cheryl Anne Harvey was born at Columbia Way Hospital in the town of Sonora in Tuolumne County, California on January 3, 1946. She was the second of three daughters born to Betty and Cyril William Harvey.

As her parents and most of their families were long-time residents of the Sonora and Tuolumne County, Cheryl spent her youth growing up in Sonora and logging camps in the nearby mountains. Her father built their small farm house on Wards Ferry Road where she spent many idyllic hours climbing trees, milking cows, shooting guns, riding horses and even going out with her father on stormy nights to rescue a cow stuck in the mud somewhere on the farm. Cheryl was very close to her father and really looked up to him as both a beloved father and a great friend.

She attended the elementary school nearby in the tiny little lumber company town of Standard, located just east of Sonora. Cheryl entered Sonora High School in 1959 where she enjoyed sports and graduated in 1963.

Cheryl attended Modesto Junior College and then transferred to Stanislaus State College in 1966 where she majored in Sociology and was a member of the school's Song Leaders team through 1968.

While attending college, Cheryl met and married Steve Klein. They subsequently moved to Oxnard and then to Ann Arbor, MI.

Cheryl gave birth to her beloved and loving son, Paul Klein, in Ann Arbor in 1969.

The family then moved to San Diego where Cheryl began working for a Montessori school near Del Mar in 1972. They moved again to Corvallis, Oregon in 1974 and Cheryl began teaching at the pre-school where Paul was a student.

In the summer of 1976, they moved to Johnson Avenue in Marysville where, subsequently, Cheryl directed and taught at the preschool at the St. Joseph's Parrish Notre Dame School. Concurrently, she earned her diploma in the Theory and Practice of the Montessori Method of Education from the Saint Nicholas Training Center after completing her studies in the summer of 1980 at Northern Iowa University.

Sadly, Cheryl's father passed away in October of 1980, which was a huge loss to Cheryl and her sisters.

Cheryl bought the Montessori school equipment from the St. Joseph's Parrish Notre Dame School and opened her own preschool that she named Yuba-Sutter Rainbow Montessori School located in classrooms she rented from the Bethel Temple Church on Buchanan Street in Marysvilleâ€"and so began her lifelong dream of owning her own Montessori preschool.

On August 23, 1981, Cheryl married Rick Essenwanger in a beautiful outdoor ceremony performed at Cheryl's Aunt Agnes Black's farm house on Wards Ferry Road in Sonora, California, located just a few hundred yards away from the Harvey family home where she grew up. In 1986, Cheryl and Rick took a Hawaiian vacation to the Island of Kauai that Cheryl had dreamed about and planned for months.

After a couple of years of growth and success, Cheryl needed additional space to expand, so she relocated the school to 465 Del Norte Avenue in Yuba City that she leased from student parents Dr. Robert and Susan Polhemus. After a summer of renovation work, including many volunteer hours by parents and staff, classes commenced in September of 1986 at the new location.

Over the years, Cheryl has received many honors and recognition from Yuba College, The Appeal Democrat newspaper and other local organizations. Cheryl has subsequently relocated the school to the Grace Methodist Church at 3600 S. Walton Avenue in Yuba City in 1999 and finally to the school's present location at the Adventist School at 369 Harding Road in Yuba City where the school has been since 2002.

Cheryl and her sisters suffered another loss in 1987 when their beloved mother, Betty, passed away. Cheryl was consoled by the fact that Betty was able to attend Paul's high school graduation ceremony in June prior to her passing.

In 1990, Cheryl and Rick visited and fell in love with the remote ocean-side community of Shelter Cove in Humboldt County and purchased a lot on which to eventually build a vacation cabin and retirement home.

On August 14, 1993, Cheryl's enduring love flowered even more when her son Paul married Teresa Rodriguez in a beautiful ceremony performed at the Ellis Lake gazebo in Marysville. Then, in July 1994, Cheryl's joy was boundless upon the birth of the first of her three loving grandchildren, Kalia Anne Klein, followed by the births of grandsons Kaden Klein in 1999 and Kameron Klein in 2001.

Cheryl's profound un-abiding love for her son and his family lighted her life for the whole world to see. She could not complete a conversation with anyone, even complete strangers, without speaking with loving pride about each one of them and their accomplishments.

In 1994 Paul and Rick completed construction of Cheryl's dream cabin on the Shelter Cove lot where the family has spent many wonderful vacations enjoying the wild beauty of the sea, forest and coast. Cheryl's last visit to Shelter Cove was made with Rick and her beloved little Chihuahua puppy, Lucy, on a beautiful, sunny Memorial Day weekend, exactly one week before she suddenly fell so ill.

The family is planning a ceremony to spread Cheryl's ashes upon the ocean in Shelter Cove sometime this fall.

Cheryl was preceded in death by her beloved father, Cyril William Harvey; mother, Betty Virginia Inks; and brother-in-law Noel Quesenberry.

Cheryl is survived by her loving husband Rick of 32 years, beloved son Paul Klein, daughter-in-law Teresa Klein, grandchildren Kalia, Kaden and Kameron Klein, all of Marysville; sister Paulette Quesenberry of Modesto; sister Doreen Sorenson, brother-in-law Ron Sorenson, nephews Todd Thornburg and Troy Thornburg all of Chehalis, WA, and Cheryl's little dog, Lucy, who keeps searching for her "Mommy".

Services for Cheryl will be held Friday morning, June 27, 2014 at 11 am at the First United Methodist Church, 730 D Street, Marysville, CA 95901 (flowers may also be sent to the church address). Following church services, family and friends are invited to Paul and Teresa's home in Marysville to visit and celebrate Cheryl's extraordinary life. Memorial donations may be made to the ASPCA.

Special thanks go to Cheryl's loving teachers, former teachers, parents, Adventist School staff and board members for pulling together and completing the 2014 Rainbow Montessori School year and performing the graduation ceremonies on June 12th while Cheryl lay so very ill.

And very special thanks go to all of Cheryl's students, parents and teachers who shared in her dreams, her beautiful little preschool and her enduring love for 38 years.

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Published in Appeal Democrat from June 24 to June 26, 2014
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