Life Story / Obituary
Cheryl Marie Eastman, 71, passed away peacefully at home on December 12, 2020.
She was born in Battle Creek, Michigan on March 25, 1949 to Mr. and Mrs. Duane and Beth Hooker.
Cheryl knew her calling in life was teaching. As a child, in Athens, MI., she would round up her friends and make them sit in the garage where she could then do a lesson. She came by this naturally as the daughter and granddaughter of educators. Cheryl spoke often of her fond memories of growing up in Athens including the library where she spent many hours developing her love of reading, research, and learning. She never lost the desire to learn about new things. Cheryl moved to Holland, MI. in 1962 when her father accepted the position of Principal of West Ottawa High School. In 1966 she became Holland’s first Junior Miss. Cheryl attended West Ottawa High School where she met and fell in love with her best friend and true love for life, Michael. Soulmates, they married on August 22, 1970 and simultaneously started both their family and careers. A son, Michael, arrived in 1974 followed by a daughter, Michelle, in 1979. Cheryl was beyond thrilled with the arrival of her grand sons Eric and Jeremy. Nana became her new and meaningful name which she loved. Her family was her life’s joy.
In 1974 Cheryl began her 30 year teaching career at Holland Public Schools. She taught at Van Raalte Elementary, Lincoln Elementary, and Lakeview Elementary before retiring in 2004. She thoroughly loved teaching and did everything in her power to make learning fun and productive and she would go out of her way to make sure every one of “her kids” was able to achieve. Many times this included addressing issues students had in their lives that were outside of school. She was affectionately known to her students as “Mrs. E.” and known for her famous comma dance, which she performed every year.
Charity and kindness were very high on Cheryl’s list. She lived what she believed to be right, true, and above all, fair. Sometimes life would make this difficult, but she was never deterred. Often, she would have Michael back track, drive around the block again, or go to a special store to make sure that someone received something she thought they should have. Sometimes that was a small gift, a hug, a little pocket change, or even just a smile and kind word of encouragement. The number of lives she touched are countless.
Cheryl was predeceased by her son Michael Duane Eastman in 1996, Mother and Father Duane and Beth Hooker, Grandparents Harold and Bonnie Foust and Eli and Nora Hooker. Surviving are her loving husband of 50 years Michael, daughter Michelle (Kurt) Homkes, grandsons Eric and Jeremy Mathews. Siblings Denise Ryzanca, Jeff (Kaye) Hooker, Tom (Thea) Hooker, sisters in law Lois Mitchell, Marian (Donald) VanRy, Donna Dreyer, along with several nieces nephews and cousins.
A private family burial will be held. Cheryl requested that memorial donations be made to St. Jude Children’s Hospital.
Professional service entrusted to the Mulder Chapel.