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.
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Published by Milwaukee Journal Sentinel from Apr. 17 to Apr. 18, 2021.