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Cheryl Kae Shurtleff-Young


1947 ~ 2015 - Obituary Condolences
Cheryl Kae Shurtleff-Young Obituary
Our beloved Cheryl died at home in Boise in the early morning of September 4, 2015. She bravely fought a battle with the recurrence of breast cancer. Cheryl was born in Ontario, Oregon, April 1, 1947, to Cecil and Cathleen Shurtleff. She grew up on a fruit ranch north of Payette, Idaho, with a sister, Shawna, and a brother, Ron. She attended Payette schools and she and her brother Ron graduated from PHS together in 1966.
Cheryl earned a BFA and an MA in art education at Boise State University, and an MA in contemporary art history at the University of Oregon. She taught at Caldwell High School for several years before accepting a teaching position in the art department at Boise State University, where she taught for 36 years until retiring in 2013. It was also where she met her husband, Richard Young. She was a groundbreaker in the art department as one of the first women to achieve the rank of Professor. She was a hugely beloved teacher who provided an inspiration to countless students, especially women.
She was also a celebrated artist. The genius of Cheryl's art laid in its intense simplicity: beautifully rendered images, but disturbing and mysterious ones, made just with heavily worked pencil on paper. Her work is not pretty, but it is beautiful. One of her drawings was the centerpiece of an exhibit of Idaho art at the Smithsonian American Art Museum. Most recently, an exhibit at Boise State, "Encounters", showed new drawings completed since her retirement. Her art is held in many public and private collections, including the Boise and Portland Art Museums.
Cheryl loved to be outside hiking, snow-shoeing, traveling and gardening. She was fascinated by the sentience of animals, especially her cats Bob and Birdy. She also had a collector's sensibility: Cheryl's and Richard's artwork, antiques and collections filled their home. She had a great sense of style and fashion, and she rocked great hair. She was a tiny person but large in spirit and spunk, and unforgettable.
She was preceded in death by her mother, Cathleen. She leaves behind husband, Richard; god-daughter, Madeline Marguerite Maze; father, Cecil; sister, Shawna and husband Gary Forsdick, their son, Craig and Sheri Forsdick, son Kyle and daughter Samantha; daughter Sheri and Bob Bamrick and sons Jake and Josh; brother Ron and wife Jo Ann Shurtleff, their daughters Sidni and Gary Mordhorst and daughter Haiden; Adrianne and Brandt Meckel, their son Jack and daughter Claire; Richard's mother, Jean Young and brother, David Young and his daughters, Catherine and Rachel; and many cousins, friends, and students.
There will be a private family grave side service in Payette and a Celebration of Cheryl's life at a memorial service at Boise State at a later time.
Published in Idaho Statesman on Sept. 9, 2015
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