Cheryl Ann Vining

A year-long battle with leukemia ended for Cheri Vining with a peaceful walk through the pearly gates on Wednesday, October 30, holding hands with her loving husband and surrounded by family at home in Darrington, Wash. Cheri was born Cheryl Ann Morgan to Kenneth Paul and Barbara Jean (Clement) Morgan on November 26, 1954 in Seattle. She was raised in Seattle and, after losing her father, graduated from Roosevelt High School in 1973. Cheri was attending North Seattle Community College when she reluctantly showed up at her brother's house to meet a boy. That boy, a man really, ended up riding her over to Ellensburg to register at Central Washington University on the back of his Harley, but she decided she'd rather continue their relationship than school. Cheri married Philip Frank Vining on May 28, 1976. They honeymooned at Yellowstone National Park, but first had to outrun flood waters from a breaking Teton Dam in eastern Idaho. The couple had three children, Clinton, Melissa and Jake, and moved to Darrington, Wash., where they could walk to the creek (pronounced 'crick') and look every day at one of the most beautiful mountains in the North Cascades … Whitehorse. Cheri took over the Christian-based preschool that her children had attended and taught and ran the business for 10 years. She then went to work for the school district as a teacher's assistant. She worked there until her diagnosis of leukemia on September 11, 2012. She couldn't wait to beat the illness and get back to work ... back to the kids. Since 2007 Cheri and Phil have had six grandchildren, and even though they had to travel to Oregon and Alaska for five of them, they didn't miss a birth. But traveling wasn't new to this couple. Cheri made trips to Mexico, Thailand, Austria, Russia, Italy and all over the United States. She threw darts at maps to determine destinations and bought plane tickets without confirming it with Phil. Almost as much as she loved her family, she loved to travel. There was only one thing Cheri loved more than her family and traveling and that was God, her Lord, the Savior, Jesus Christ. Cheri was baptized as an infant in the Catholic church, but wanted to do it again as an adult, proclaiming, on her own, her devotion to Him. She was baptized in the Stilliguamish River just down the road from her home by Darrington First Baptist Pastor Mike DeLuca. Cheri was preceded in death by her father, Kenneth Morgan, and brother, George Morgan. Cheri is survived by her mother, Barbara Morgan; husband, Phil Vining; brothers, Gene (Linda) and Tom (Mary) Morgan; sister-in-law, Niola Morgan; children, Clinton (Hawley) Vining, Melissa (Murat) Shamanov and Jake (Renea) Vining; grandchildren, Carter, Drake and Miles Vining, Ella Vining and Akulina and Salima Shamanov, and many nieces, nephews and friends. A Celebration of Cheri's Wonderful Life will begin with a memorial service at 11 a.m. on Saturday, November 9, at Darrington First Baptist Church, and continue afterward with an open house dinner at the Darrington Community Center. In lieu of flowers or gifts Cheri requested that donations be made to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, Donor Services 4072 Pittsfield, MA 01202. Cheri's remains were cremated with arrangements made by A Sacred Memorial of Everett. Her ashes will be spread by family on a later date at a favorite location on Whitehorse Mountain.

Published in The Herald (Everett) on Nov. 7, 2013