Cheryl Ann Sundeen was born March 28, 1956, in Geneseo, IL to the parents Joy and Charles Sundeen. On Sept 2, 2020, Cheryl was called to heaven to join her parents and rejoice with them in eternal life. Cheryl was born with a birth defect where her brain never fully developed. It prevented her from learning to read or write and unable to care for herself. As an adolescent our parents knew that Cheryl would have a better quality of life living with other developmentally disabled people who became her family as well. It took several facilities to find the right fit for her. For 50 years she lived in group homes in Ohio, Nebraska and finally back to Illinois. It took several facilities before finding her last home she lived for over 25 years. Her home was a Community Integrated Living Arrangement (CILA Home) in Carlyle, IL where she was surrounded by wonderful caregivers that took such good care of her treating her like family. For the past year she came to live at Royal Oaks Nursing Home where the staff was also so good to her. Cheryl touched people’s hearts with her kindness and love. It was wonderful visiting her she always loved hugs and would say "Hey beautiful" or other kind sayings that just made you feel so good. However, you could be fooled by her antics to get her own way and a lot of determination. She would have everyone laughing. She had mental disabilities, but her mind had a great memory. She remembered everyone’s names and even racehorses our dad had over 50yrs ago. Cheryl had the honor of representing her community in the Special Olympics. Her personality was as bright and beautiful as the sun when it rises in the morning. We will deeply miss her, but take comfort knowing she no longer has to live in a body that made life difficult for her. She is running free alongside our mom and dad rejoicing in life after death. A quote from Helen Keller, "Death is no more than passing from one room into another. But there’s a difference for me, you know. Because in that other room I shall be able to see."
Cheryl had one brother, Jace (Denise Jarka) Sundeen, Anderson, Indiana. Two sisters, Julie (Royce) Green, New Boston, IL and Megan (David Clayes) Sundeen, Kewanee, IL. She loved dearly her four nephews, J.C. and John Austin. Ethan and Evan Sundeen. Aunts and Uncles Rosetta (Cochran) Byers, Patricia (Cochran – Miller) Johnson, Carl (Arlene) Cochran, Kathryn (Cochran) and Mike Higgins, Betty (Rollin) Heller. Several cousins. She is preceded in death by her parents, maternal grandparents Helen and Harry Cochran, paternal grandparents Myrtle and Frank Sundeen, several aunts, uncles and cousins.
A graveside service will take place at a later date in Oakwood Cemetery, Geneseo, IL. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to a Scholarship Fund for her four nephews. Vandemore Funeral Homes & Crematory is assisting the family with arrangements.