Cheyanne Marie Ritchey, age 12, of Mount Gilead/ Edison, went to be with the Lord Wednesday evening, October 9, 2013 at Nationwide Children's Hospital.
On April 12, 2001, Cheyanne was born at Marion General, the daughter of Chad and Pamela (Cranston) Ritchey.
From a young age Cheyanne has overcome many trials. Born with Williams Syndrome, Cheyanne was given just a short time to live and chose to fight way past the time the doctors gave her. Her fight even landed her a movie deal, as she made her appearance in a film called "Embraceable", a documentary on Williams Syndrome.
Her appearances didn't only include a part in a movie, she also made her way onto a local billboard. Just a few years after birth Cheyanne appeared on a billboard for MRDD of Morrow County. Recently she had the chance to compete in the Special Olympics where she placed 2nd in the standing long jump and 3rd in the softball throw. She also was able to compete in the Rain Gutter Regatta for Girl Scouts where she won best boat and 1st in her class. Cheyanne was very dedicated to her girl scout friends and leaders, who were her mom, Miss Susan, and her old leader Aunt Belinda.
She enjoyed and loved the small things in life. When Aunt Stacey came to visit, she knew she would always bring a gift. For Cheyanne any gift you gave her was the best gift ever, until the next gift came and that became the new best gift. She loved her brother and sisters. She loved to play dress up, do her makeup, and look at herself in the mirror and tell herself how pretty she was. She loved to have her picture taken. She loved butterflies and her four furry brother and sisters. Cheyanne loved watching Duck Dynasty. She loved to swing and hear all the funny voices her dad would make. Simply put, she loved life and all that it had to offer.
One of Cheyanne's biggest passions was music. She enjoyed all types of music, even artists that most kids her age would not listen to. When it comes to music, Cheyanne loved to sing it more than anything. She enjoyed the times she got to sing with Justin since he sounded like Johnny Cash. She loved to annoy her brother and sister by singing the song that never ends. If she could sing with a microphone that made it even better. For the past two years Cheyanne preformed in the Christmas in the Village and in 2011 competed in the Hospice talent show. Her favorite song to sing is "I'll Fly Away".
Another big passion for Cheyanne was food. She watched all of the cooking channels, her favorite being Cake Boss, and also would like to watch her moms in the kitchen. She loved to eat mom's spaghetti and bow tie pasta, Leaha's homemade mashed potatoes, ice cream and cheeseburgers from McDonald's with Grandma Betty, and mac 'n cheese.
Cheyanne was a very energetic and playful girl. Her Aunt Penny and she had a special bond when it came to playing with Barbie dolls and the large playhouse in Aunt Penny's room. Some of the sports she played were soccer and basketball. Basketball was extra special since she enjoyed playing with her brother and dad. She also liked to go bowling. Whether it was on the Wii or at the Lexington Lanes bowling alley with her dad, Jayden, and Zoey, she was always competitive with her brother.
Strong in her faith, whenever Cheyanne was staying at her mom's for the weekend she demanded she had to go to church. Cheyanne's favorite verse to live by comes from Philippians 4:13 "I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me." When she would go to church, she would make her rounds with hugs and to see how everyone was doing. If she saw where healing was needed she would lay her hands on them, pray, and finish by saying "You'll be better". Cheyanne truly knew how to work a crowd and put a smile on a face when and where a smile was needed.
Cheyanne had many special people in her life like her buddy beautiful grandma Betty and her "most beautifulist grandmas": Grandma Natalie, Grandma Gina, Grandma Cookie and Grandma Peggy. She loved going to Cedar Point with papaw Dick. She never met a stranger. Hardly ever forgot a voice and face. Could win anyone over with her smile and truly had such an old soul trapped in a young body. She will be remembered by her always happy spirit and how she treated people.
Cheyanne will be dearly missed by her father, Chad (Leaha) Ritchey of Mount Gilead; her mother, Pamela (Cranston) Ritchey of Edison; her siblings: Jayden Ritchey, Katarina Burns, and Zoey Nichols; grandparents: Richard Ritchey of Edison, Natalie (Justin Skeens) Ritchey of Mount Gilead, Cookie Cranston of Mount Gilead, Peggy Jennings of Mount Gilead; great grandma, Betty Ritchey of Mount Gilead; great Grandpa, Ray Moore of Portsmouth; special uncles Jason Ritchey, Mike Moore, and Paul Fannin; special aunt, Penny Cranston; her four furry brother and sisters; and numerous aunts, uncles, and cousins.
She is proceeded in death by grandparents: Don Cranston, Gary Jennings; great grandparents Ken (Ethel) Fannin, and Dana (Mary) Cranston.
Family will greet friends from 2 - 5 p.m on Sunday, October 13, at the Snyder Funeral Home, Craven Chapel, 67 North Main Street, Mount Gilead, OH. A service celebrating Cheyanne's life will be held Monday, October 14, at 10:30 a.m. at the Edison Enterprise Baptist Church, 3055 Ohio 95, Edison, OH, with Pastor Ed Colgrove and Pastor Lawrence Combs officiating. Burial will follow shortly after in Bryn Zion Cemetery.
Friends and family may send memorial contributions to the Williams Syndrome Program, Nisonger Center, and they may be sent to the care of the funeral home.
Snyder Funeral Homes of Mount Gilead are honored to have been chosen to serve Cheyanne's family, and private online condolences may be expressed to them by visiting www.snyderfuneralhomes.com.