Cheryl Lynn Stein
Cheryl Lynn Stein of Oak Park, Illinois, passed away peacefully on May 20 at her second home in Annapolis, Maryland after a five-year struggle with Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML). Her husband Jay was with her as her spirit left her body a little after 11:00AM. Cheryl was awake and aware until very near the end of her journey, there was no pain or suffering.

Cheryl was diagnosed with AML in November 2016 and went through a bone marrow transplant in April 2017. She suffered from mild side effects of the transplant, known as graph vs host disease (GVH) throughout the rest of her life. Her leukemia returned suddenly and unexpectedly in April 2021. The medical science that had given Cheryl five years of life after her initial diagnosis was not able to save her again from the rapidly progressing cancer. Cheryl did her best for five years; she had no more to give.

Cheryl was born in Chicago on March 2nd, 1954, and grew up in Flossmoor, Illinois. She attended Homewood Flossmoor High School, Southern Illinois University, and The University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign. After graduation from U of I in 1975, Cheryl obtained a MBA from The University of Chicago. She spent most of her career as a commercial real estate professional in Florida and Chicago, where she worked for several prominent firms; and started and operated two commercial RE brokerage firms in her own name. Cheryl enjoyed representing clients until her leukemia diagnosis made it impossible for her to continue.

Cheryl enjoyed travel throughout her life, from an early trip to Europe with her younger sister Denise, trips to China and England with her older sister Marsha, through repeated trips with her husband Jay to major US cities, various countries in Europe, and many Caribbean islands. Some of her favorite travel memories were a solo trip to Japan, her honeymoon with Jay in the Burgundy region of France, visits with friends in Sonoma, NYC, and Oslo; and many winter sailing trips with Jay and friends in the Virgin Islands. Cheryl and Jay continued travelling after Cheryl's leukemia diagnosis, competing over thirty-five trips after 2017. Cheryl and Jay spent most of the winter 2020-21 on St Thomas, where Cheryl was able to enjoy swimming for the first time since her diagnosis, and take one more birthday sail to one of her favorite places on earth; Francis Bay, St John.

Cheryl also enjoyed gardening, a passion she inherited from her mother. She developed an encyclopedic knowledge of flowering plants and trees, and used that knowledge to turn her yard in Oak Park into a four season display of beautiful forms and colors. Many of her travels with Jay included visits to classic gardens and conservatories.

Cheryl liked spending time with her young nieces and nephews, and the children of friends and neighbors. She worked to support less fortunate children through involvement with the Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) program, the Hephzibah Children's Association in Oak Park, and especially the Infant Welfare Society of Oak Park and River Forest.

Cheryl maintained a positive attitude toward life even when life was difficult; through chemotherapy, leukemia treatments, and working through physical therapy four days a week to maintain her strength, her beautiful smile lit up her face and inspired everyone she knew. Cheryl lived her life on her own terms until the end, she will be missed by many.

Cheryl was pre-deceased by her mother, Diana Fern Melton, her father Norman Stein, and her step-father William Russell Melton.

Cheryl is survived by her loving husband of 25 years, Jay Butler, her sisters; Denise Stein, and Marsha Spector (Jan), beloved nieces, nephews, grand-nieces and grand-nephews: Shira Lipsey (Joe), Joseph and Louise; Yehuda Spector (Melissa); Dovid Spector (Alana), Sienna and Eli, Daniela Gontownik (Zev), Ruth, Ava, Nora, Sylvia and Jacob; Avi Spector (Eryn) Nolan; and many other relatives and friends.

Cheryl's ashes will be spread in her beloved Caribbean Sea as per her wishes. Friends and Family will gather in Oak Park in the near future to Celebrate Cheryl's Life.

Those wishing to make a charitable donation in Cheryl's honor are asked to consider the Infant Welfare Society of Oak Park and River Forest, or The Leukemia And Lymphoma Society.

Published by Chicago Tribune from Jul. 18 to Jul. 25, 2021.
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8 Entries
Jay Baby! I had such a great time getting to know Cheryl on our trip back from Mac. Great stories and laughs. I always looked forward to seeing her. You are a lucky guy to have had such a wonderful woman in your life, She was pretty lucky, too!
Steve Robbins
August 24, 2021
Steven Robbins
August 24, 2021
Dear Jay, Please accept our deepest condolences regarding the passing of your wife Cheryl. Blessings, Bob Ransom
Bob Ransom
July 31, 2021
Michael Wittekind
July 25, 2021
I was so saddened to read your wife had passed away, Jay. I never had the pleasure of meeting her but she sounded like quite an extraordinary, caring woman. I lost my own husband of 20 years just four years ago and know the grief you are feeling. I hope beautiful memories comfort you. With my deepest sympathy, Diane Denk 2009 Harrison, #304 Evanston, IL 60201 207/604-0838
Diane Denk
Other
July 22, 2021
Dear Jay: We are so sorry for your loss. You were the dedicated husband of a spunky, determined lady. Your commitment to each other and to the causes in which you believed, are commendable. May you treasure the memories of your travels and good times together. Wishing you peace of mind and heart. Kathy and Tom (friends from the Infant Welfare Society)
Kathy and Tom Haney
Friend
July 21, 2021
I too am a former classmate of Cheryl. I remember her as being a very happy kid with a passion for life family and friends. May her memory bring you comfort. So sad for this loss.
Kathy Tuchman
School
July 19, 2021
I´m a former HF classmate snd was looking forward to seeing Cheryl at our 50th reunion in September. Please accept my sympathy for your loss. I did not know her well, but she made an good impression that never left me. Sounds like she led a very full life and left an impression on many people along the way. May her memory be a blessing to all.
Nancy Cary White
School
July 19, 2021
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