Cover photo for Cheryl Lea Witham's Obituary
Cheryl Lea Witham Profile Photo
1944 Cheryl 2020

Cheryl Lea Witham

February 16, 1944 — August 23, 2020

Cherry was an Omaha Public School educator for 31 years. Cherry was born in Oxford, NE and reared in Omaha. She was a graduate of South High School and Kearney State College. She received her Masters from University of Nebraska Lincoln. She is proceeded in death by her parents, Warren and Bernie, brother- in- law, Kenny, nieces Tina, and Kari, brother in laws, Denny and Marshall Lewis. She is survived by her husband, Gary Lewis, stepdaughter Stacy (Doug) Bradley, grandchildren, Nick, Sam, and Kyle, sisters Jo Kuhn, Wendy (Jack) Holmbeck, nephew Shane (Amanda) Kuhn, niece Heather (Simon) Montgomery, nephew Seth, sister – in – laws, Lisa Lewis, nephew Travis Lewis (Emily), Rocky Lewis, nephews Jay Lewis, Brian (Andrea) Lewis, Aunt, Bonnie Johnson, beloved cousins, The Abbey Neighborhood Family and countless friends and colleagues.

Cherry began her career in 1966 at North High School, where she was a French teacher. Cherry also taught the “readers”. Yes, Cherry was a part of the peace and love movement of the 60’s. She saw the injustices and worked to “right the wrong.”

In 1972, Cherry earned her Masters degree in Guidance and Counseling. In 1973, she was transferred to Burke High School to join the guidance department. She was not happy about the transfer, but without the transfer she would have not met a very handsome art teacher named Gary Lewis. As it was a policy of the Omaha Public Schools that teachers who were married could not be in the same building. So off Gary went to Bryan. 1975, Cherry and Gary, like the flower children of the day, were married. Of course, they were married in grassy field.

Cherry always championed human rights issues, whether it is literacy, civil rights, women’s issues or the environment. However, being an advocate for all young people was at the top of her list.

Someone once said teachers achieve a kind of immortality because it is essentially impossible to know when, or if, their influence ends.

Cherry’s influence on the lives of those she touched will never end.

Generations from now will be sharing a life lessons left by Cherry. The lesson will have been learned from the master.

“There’s nothing wrong with a little agitation for what’s right or fair.” (John Lewis)

A Celebration of Life will be held at a later date.

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