Cheryl Zimmerman

Great Falls native Cheryl (Marks) Zimmerman, 56, died of leukemia Saturday, Jan. 5, in Seattle.

Services are 11 a.m. Saturday at Valley Community Bible Church, 3400 Flood Road in Great Falls. A service is planned for a later date in Anchorage, Alaska.

Cheryl went to be with her Lord Jesus Christ after bravely battling leukemia. She was born and raised in Great Falls and recently returned there after a 25-year residency in Anchorage, Alaska. Cheryl was born Nov. 17, 1956, the child of Eugene and Shirley Marks. Cheryl and her four brothers and sisters enjoyed close family adventures in the lakes, rivers and mountains of Montana. She married Jeff Yates in 1980, raised children Tyler and Rochelle in Alaska and later divorced. In 2005, she married Tom Zimmerman. Cheryl was a proud graduate of C.M. Russell High School and Montana State University. Her life's work was in the areas of agriculture and administration in Montana, Colorado and Alaska. At the onset of her illness, she was employed by Pasta Montana in Great Falls. Cheryl was a dedicated church member and a strong Christian woman. Her contagious laugh and love of life will always be remembered. Her passion was gardening, growing 12-foot-tall flowers, even in Alaska, and was a walking encyclopedia of plants … "the auntie who knows all the flowers." Her photos will be around for us to enjoy for many years to come.

Cheryl is survived by her husband, Tom Zimmerman; children Lisa Rochelle and Tyler Yates; mother Shirley Marks; brothers, Ron (Nancy) and Ken (Paula) Marks; sisters Lorrie (John) Bridges and Terri (Jeff) Jallings; grandson Cody; many nieces, nephews, great nieces and nephews; and not to be forgotten, her dog Xena, the warrior princess.

Cheryl was preceded in death by her father, Eugene Marks; and all of her grandparents.

The family wishes to express sincere appreciation to the caregivers at Great Falls Benefis and the Seattle Cancer Care Alliance and for the hundreds of greetings from all of the people who Cheryl touched in her life. Christ truly worked through her kind and generous spirit.

A fund to assist the family with the significant medical expenses has been established. Contributions may be sent to "Cheryl Zimmerman Benefit," 1st Liberty Federal Credit Union, 401 Smelter Ave., Great Falls, MT 59404.

Condolences may be posted online at

Published in Great Falls Tribune on Jan. 16, 2013