Wakefield '60 Classmates: In Memoriam

Cherry Lynne Gordon Prado
b: 2/5/1941     d: 6/6/2003

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South Florida Sun-Sentinel, Fort Lauderdale, Florida - June 9, 2003
Cherry Gordon pictureCherry Lynne Gordon, entered into eternal rest on the morning of June 6, 2003.   Resident of Ft. Lauderdale since 1961.  All services will be private.  Arrangements by J. Henry Stuhr, Inc., Greenridge Road Chapel, North Charleston, South Carolina.  Miss Gordon was born February 5, 1941 in Wellington, New Zealand, a daughter of the late William Wade Gordon-Horsley and Joan Valiere Solomon Gordon Cowies.   She is survived by one sister, Amber Sharkey and husband, Tom, and one niece, Paige Sharkey all of Summerville, South Carolina.
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Cherry's sister Amber wrote:
My sister, Cherry, lived in Arlington, Virginia until 1960 at which point she followed our mother to Fort Lauderdale, Florida.  Cherry spent the next 42 years working in the hotel and tourist industry where she waitressed, and bartended.  She never married.  Now if I may, let me tell you WHO she really was and not what she did or did not accomplish.  Cherry was exceedingly generous, to what I considered a fault.   She had an amazing knack for choosing just the right gift for anyone she knew and it would sometimes be years later that the need for the gift she gave, would suddenly make itself known and you were left wondering "How did she know that would be something I would need?"  And although she had reason to be critical of some in her life, I never heard her utter a disparaging word against anyone.  Really.  She expressed disappointment but never personal attacks.  She had an amazing eye for interior decorating and sadly wasn't able to afford the objects of her desire.  She and I were movie buddies and she loved to dance to the music of her times.  Although verbal expression of her feelings didn't come easy, there was no doubt how she felt towards those she loved by the nature of her thoughtfulness.  When I became pregnant with her one and only niece, there wasn't a person I knew who was more excited than I, with the exception of my sister, Cherry.  She threw herself into buying baby clothes, orchestrated a baby shower and once my daughter was born, she lavished her with gifts despite the fact that she had very little means to do so.  Cats.  Yep, she was a cat lover . No, not like those crazy old women we see and hear about but genuinely loved cats for their beauty and they loved her for her tenderness.  Then, during a routine medical, where an annual lung x-ray was taken, the doctors found a large mass in her right lung.  That was May 6th, 2003.  She passed away in my home in Charleston, South Carolina on June 6th, a month to the day she was diagnosed.  Yes, she was a heavy smoker.  When the doctor told her what she had, the first words out of her mouth were "It figures, I've been smoking for 50 some years".  What was even more remarkable about her thoughtfulness of others during her life, was her unselfishness as she faced death.  A friend of mine told me that when talking to Cherry right after she learned of her diagnosis, the first thing she said was "Oh, poor Amber, she has to go through this again"  ( I had just lost my father 3 months earlier).  My sister, Cherry, taught me more about love and grace, unselfishness and forgiveness in her last month of life than most of us will ever learn in our entire lifetime.  She occasionally spoke of her teen years at Wakefield High School with wistful remembrance.   She was especially proud of her appearance on American Bandstand where I actually remember seeing her showing Dick Clark the latest dance step.  She would be thrilled to know that someone from Wakefield not only tried to contact her but actually remembers who she was.  On my sister's behalf,  thank you so much.

2011 Wakefield Class of 1960 and Wakefield Education Foundation (information@wakefieldalumni.org)