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Michael William Cherry - Melbourne - Michael William Cherry of Melbourne died Monday, June 7, 2010, after a battle with cancer. He was 54. Mike is survived by his wife, Carrie; his beautiful 3-year-old daughter, Julia Grace; sisters, Susan (John) Clark of Galloway, N.J.; Lisa (Frank) Casale of Naples, FL; nephew, Nicholas Casale; niece, Madison Casale; and countless friends and family members. He was preceded in death by his father, Richard Y. Cherry, and his mother, Jeanette Unger Cherry. Mike fought for two years a cancer that often claims lives in a matter of months, not out of fear, but out of a love for his life and his family. He refused to let his illness change or define him, working full-time and keeping up with an active toddler until the very end. For the past five years, Mike was a preps sports writer for FLORIDA TODAY newspaper in Melbourne. Before that, he covered Marshall University and West Virginia University athletics for the Charleston Gazette and the Charleston Daily Mail. He grew up in Turnersville, N.J., and was a graduate of Marshall University. Mike led a full, fun and interesting life. He became a father at the age of 50 and was completely smitten with his girl. On a whim after high school, he decided to ride his bike across the country from Albuquerque, N.M., to New Jersey. He was known for his funny tennis serve and his silver convertible. He was somewhat proud of the fact that he lived in an apartment without a stove for more than a decade. He was an expert traveler, knowing all the best routes and rest stops. He loved crab legs, cold beer and The Three Stooges. He made us laugh. We will miss him every moment. A Celebration of Life will be held in Charleston, W.Va., at a later date. Donations can be made in Mike's name to the MIMA Foundation, which provides grants to cancer patients in need: 1130 Hickory Street, Building B, Melbourne, FL 32901.

Published in FLORIDA TODAY on June 8, 2010
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