MacKrell, Cheryl Melby 3/28/1940 - 2/27/2021 Ann Arbor, Michigan Cheryl Melby MacKrell, 80, a woman who wore many hats in the Ann Arbor community, passed at her home on Saturday, February 27, 2021. Nee Cheryl Callahan, daughter of Ruth Tice Callahan and Allen Callahan, she was raised in Ann Arbor and had especially fond memories of her grandfather, George "Pop" Tice. Ms. MacKrell graduated from Ann Arbor High School, received her BA in 1961 from the University of Iowa and then, in 1966, completed an MA in French Literature at the University of Michigan. A committed and creative teacher, she taught French at Pioneer High School where she was known as Madame Melby. Music was a life-long love of Ms. MacKrell's and she was a longtime member of the First Presbyterian Church choir. She met her first husband, James Melby, at Interlochen. They were married in 1959 and she is survived by their two children, Katherine Melby (married to Bret Huntman) of Petoskey, Michigan and Thomas Melby of Durham, North Carolina. She is also survived by her two grandchildren, James and Emily Huntman. Her great-grand daughter, Aniyah Williams, was a light of her last months. She met her second husband, John MacKrell, at church choir. They married in 1987 and, together, enjoyed many years singing both at the church and in the University of Michigan Choral Union. Mr. MacKrell survives his wife. Ms. MacKrell made many contributions to the Ann Arbor community as a volunteer. She was among the organizers of teach-ins for the first Earth Day and an early volunteer with Recycle Ann Arbor. She contributed her talents to local, state, and national political campaigns and served on the Barton Hills Village Council. In retirement much of her volunteer work served the Clements Library, particularly as part of a team cataloging culinary works for the Longone Center for American Culinary Research. She was an excellent cook in her own right and enjoyed serving "peasant food" for family and friends. Her loves of the arts, food, and French culture met in a crescendo when the MacKrell's hosted a dinner for the cast of the Theatre de la Ville (of Paris, France) after the troupe performed Rhinoceros-a play by Ionesco which she taught many times-in Ann Arbor. Ms. MacKrell was also previously a member of the boards of the Friends of the University of Michigan Art Museum and the Friends of the University of Michigan Libraries. Ms. MacKrell collected antiques-a passion she shared with her mother and with Mr. MacKrell. She was a member of the area's Questers group and found creative expression in decorating her beloved home in Barton Hills. She also was an elegant and eclectic dresser. As a comfort to those who mourn Cheryl MacKrell, the family offers the following mauling of the lyrics of one of her favorite pieces of music, the Brahms German Requiem, Opus 45: II. Drawing from the Christian Bible, James 5:7 and Isaiah 35:10, it conveys that, "Those who are patient unto the coming of the Lord shall return with songs and everlasting joy upon their heads; sorrow and sighing shall flee away." A memorial gathering is being planned for the spring. Muehlig's, Ann Arbor
Published in Ann Arbor News from Mar. 5 to Mar. 7, 2021.