March 15, 1946 - November 8, 2020
Cheryl “Cherry” Ann Whitney
March 15, 1946 – November 8, 2020
On the afternoon of November 8th Cheryl Ann (Petit) Whitney, who went by “Cherry”, passed away, from complications due to the Covid-19 virus at Adventist medical center in Portland, Oregon. Shortly before, her son Cory was there to comfort her. Cherry had survived a long battle with early-onset Alzheimer’s disease in the previous decade. She was 74 years old.
Cherry was born at 7:55 AM on March 15, 1946 in Plymouth, Massachusetts. Her parents were Barbara and Melvin Petit.
Cherry was the second of three children. She had an older brother Lance (who passed away from Leukemia in 1967) and a younger sister Joyce (still living), who resides in Plymouth, Massachusetts with her husband Dennis. In addition to her sister and brother in law, she is survived by her son Cory, nieces Jeannine and Danielle, and extended family.
Cherry attended elementary through high school in Plymouth, Massachusetts and attended Keene State College in Keene, New Hampshire from 1964-1968, graduating with a degree in Elementary Education.
She was married to James Whitney of Keene, New Hampshire from 1968 through 1986. Cherry moved with James to Biloxi, Mississippi and taught school there in 1969. She then relocated to Santa Maria, California with James and remained there until 1973.
In 1973 Cherry and James moved to Barrington, New Hampshire and spent many years there. During that time Cherry was a loving and dedicated mother to her son Cory Whitney (born in July of 1974). Cherry had a vibrant social life and a deep interest in music and singing. She was an avid gardener, and grew beautiful flowers.
In 1986, after she and James divorced, Cherry moved to Portsmouth, New Hampshire, and also returned to the classroom, providing services as an American Sign Language interpreter at elementary schools in the area.
After living in Portsmouth for several years she briefly relocated to Rhode Island to pursue her interests in spirituality and meditation. She then returned to her home state of Massachusetts, the town of Carver (right next to Plymouth, where she grew up), where she worked as a caretaker for the elderly. It was while living in Carver, with her mother Barbara that her early-onset Alzheimer’s began to manifest.
In 2011, she relocated to Portland, Oregon with her son Cory so he could better help care for her as her Alzheimer’s progressed. Cory and Cherry enjoyed weekly visits and walks in the many greenspaces and parks of Portland. During the last years of her life, Cherry lived in the memory care unit of St. Anthony Village, where she received excellent care, and was beloved by the staff. Even after she lost the ability to speak, due to dementia, she continued to sing, and maintained the sunny personality that those who knew her treasured.
Cherry was preceded in death by her brother Lance, and her parents Melvin and Barbara.