In Memory

Cheryl L. Witham

2/16/44 - 8/23/2020

Witham, 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 master's from University of Nebraska Lincoln.

She is preceded in death by her parents, Warren and Bernie; brother-in-law, Kenny; nieces, Tina, and Kari. She is survived by her husband, Gary Lewis; stepdaughter, Stacy (Doug) Bradley; grandchildren, Nick, Sam, and Kyle; sisters: Jo Kuhn and son, Shane (Amanda) Kuhn; Wendy (Jack) Holmbeck and daughter, Heather (Simon) Montgomery; son, Seth Holmbeck; sistersinlaw, Lisa Lewis and son, Travis (Emily) Lewis; Rocky Lewis and sons, 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 a 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. Memorials to Nebraska Humane Society.