Donald Wicks "Tiny" Cheatham
Donald Wicks Cheatham "Tiny"

Tiny died on April 16, 2021 at the age of 77. His wife Lynne's heart is breaking. Tiny was preceded in death by his mother Gertrude Robinson, father Donald Cheatham, sister Donna Jean Wilson, niece Jill Tully, nephew Ryan Monk, and many other relatives. He is survived by his loving wife Lynne, his brother David Robinson III, sisters Michelle Tate, Nancy Blalock, and Nellie Ann Madison. Also survived by his mother-in-law Carlene Zieloski, brother-in-law Dennis (Janie) Zieloski, many nieces, nephews, great-nieces and nephews, great-great-nieces and nephews, cousins, other relatives, and many friends.

He was a tool and die maker at Master Lock and retired after 45 years. During his time at Master Lock he also served a term as Vice President of UAW-Local 469 and he was a Community Relations Representative for Master Lock in the Metcalfe Park area. He was so committed to the neighborhood he purchased a home across from Master Lock. While he was the Community Relations Rep he was involved with SHARE (self help and resource exchange), on the board of directors for the Sherman Park Boys & Girls Club and the Next Door Foundation, and worked directly with the 3rd Police District. He participated in many community activities such as the Children's Outing Associations, Walk for Kids, Neighborhood Cleanup, and also the Children's Festival at the Maier Festival Grounds. He believed in the work he was doing and never about the recognition or the awards he received. Tiny loved being Santa to all children for over 30 years. Master Lock sponsored the Clarke Street School 2nd graders "Breakfast with Santa" and he was always their Santa. He handed out gifts to the children that the employees purchased, hats, mittens, and lap blankets that retirees made and Santa made sure each child received a full stocking personally from Santa. He had a beautiful voice and loved to sing. He met Lynne at a friends wedding where he was the wedding singer and that started it all. He once belonged to a group called the Seasonal Singers who would go to nursing homes and delight the elderly. He would often stay when they were done singing to listen to all of their stories.

He loved State Fair. Lynne often thought they got married because she lived near the fairgrounds. Tiny would offer to drive friends and family to drop them off at the fair and wait for their call to pick them up. He wanted to make sure they got to their cars safely.

Carlene said he was the best of the best. After her husband died Tiny stepped up and offered his support. They sang and discovered they could sing in harmony while driving in the car. Their favorite song was "Tiny Bubbles". Such a big man with a bigger heart and they called him Tiny. Carlene says "I'll miss you so much Tiny just because I love you."

He was happy to move to his retirement apartment where he could play Sheepshead and Bingo. He was loved by many at the complex and his neighbor Pam called him a "Gentle Giant". If you knew Tiny you would agree. He was one of the kindest and loving husband, friend, and neighbor you would ever find.

Tiny loved family and friends, music, singing, Sheepshead, vacations, parties, trains, his St. Bernard, the social club, golfing, especially his hole in one at Brown Deer Park, bowling, and Lynne.

Visitation will be held at the funeral home on April 21, from 10:30 AM - 12:30 PM. Funeral Service to follow at 12:30 PM. Interment at Mt. Olivet Cemetery. Memorials are appreciated to the Boys & Girls Club or the Children's Outing Association. Two places that meant so much to him. Special thanks to the staff at DaVita Bluemound Clinic, Aurora West Allis Hospital, Select Specialty Hospital, especially Dr. Reichel, Dr. Elliott, and Matt, RN for their kindness.

To plant trees in memory, please visit our Sympathy Store.
Published by Milwaukee Journal Sentinel from Apr. 17 to Apr. 18, 2021.
10:30a.m. - 12:30p.m.
Heritage Funeral Home
4800 South 84th Street, Greenfield, WI 53228
Funeral service
Heritage Funeral Home
4800 South 84th Street, Greenfield, WI 53228
Funeral services provided by:
Heritage Funeral Home
Sponsored by Heritage Funeral Home.
Add a Message
13 Entries
Dear Lynne - My heart is breaking for you. Sending you love and strength. I know Tiny was your Prince and you his Princess. Love you dear friend.
Carol & Rich Satre
April 22, 2021
He was truly a man with a Gentle Giant's heart. Always AKA "Santa Claus "
Grace Maizonet and John Erickson
April 21, 2021
Special prayers to the family of Donald Cheatham from the entire staff of COA Youth and Family Centers
Charlotte Cannon-Sain - Executive Director of COA
April 21, 2021
UAW Local 469
April 20, 2021
Goodbye my friend. Your infectious smile, cheerful disposition, and generous nature will not be quickly forgotten. Upon reflection, I can say my conversations with you always focused on the positive aspects of life. Your talent for enchanting children during the holiday season was unmatched in my opinion. You are the only person I had ever met who actually captured the "essence" of Santa Claus. Not only did you convincingly look the part, but you also displayed the spirit of who & what he represents. Most can't pull it off, but you made it look easy, almost natural. It was the role you were born to play. Rest in Peace.
Jim Serwin
April 19, 2021
The Master Lock Company
April 19, 2021
Lynne - Tiny was a big man with an even bigger heart. He was the best! I knew Tiny for over 30 years at Master Lock and always enjoyed his wonderful, upbeat personality. I´m very sorry for your loss.
Donna Szpek
April 18, 2021
Totally a Good Person !
Reginald J. Nash
April 18, 2021
Lynne, I am so saddened to read about Donald's passing. I couldn't believe it when I read the paper! I send you my sincere condolences...I have you in my prayers. Donald was such a nice guy...always a smile and a hug! I'm very happy you had so many happy years together...wish there had been more of them! --Linda Skovsted
Linda Skovsted
April 18, 2021
Lynne, my deepest sympathies to you. Tiny was a wonderful man with a huge heart, a beautiful singing voice and the best Santa ever!
Darlene Burrmann
April 18, 2021
What an angel. I remember Tiny when I started at Master Lock, always welcoming and singing "Come be my love". I have been blessed with his presence. Rest in peace, you so deserve it. My condolences to his family. He will always be in my heart.
Jean Gaska
April 18, 2021
We met and shared memorable time with "Tiny" through UAW Union activities. Condolences to family and friends.
Jay and Donna Kopplin
April 18, 2021
I often thought of Tiny and the fun times we had when you came to our Entertainment Dinners. What an amazing man. I´m sure he is now in Gods heavenly choir.
Joyce Miller Village of Manor Park
April 18, 2021