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Cheryl M. (Kreighbaum) OwensMarch 16, 1927 ~ April 25, 2017 (age 90)
Cheryl M. Owens, 90, passed away on April 25, 2017, in her Elkhart home, after an extended illness. An Elkhart native, Cheryl was born on March 16, 1927, to Myrtle and Lloyd (Copsey) Kreighbaum. A graduate of Elkhart High School, Cheryl worked as a secretary at Ames Company/Miles Laboratories, where she met her husband-to-be, Charles V. Owens, Jr. Throughout their life together they traveled extensively, visiting every continent except Antarctica. He predeceased her in 2008, after 50 years of marriage.
Cheryl was a master gardener and created a beautiful oasis around her home on the river; it was often featured on garden tours. She was perhaps best known as a bonsai enthusiast, having studied with Japanese masters of the art, and was thrilled to be one of the few outsiders given the privilege of visiting the Imperial Bonsai Collection in Tokyo, Japan. She generously shared her knowledge of bonsai in schools and with the various bonsai and garden clubs of which she was a leader and member. She was a member of the Embroiderer's Guild of America and accomplished at embroidery, needlepoint, knitting and other needle arts. She also had a strong interest in Native American art and culture. Fiercely independent and opinionated, Cheryl was often teased by her children for the vast accumulation of random trivia that she picked up, and always shared. She was a gracious host, curious about the world and a friend to many across the globe.
Cheryl is survived by her five children, Melody Owens of New York City and her spouse Valerie; Kevin Owens of Goshen and his spouse Billie; Michael Owens of Los Angeles and his spouse Leslie, John Owens of Miami Beach and Barbara Owens of Toledo, Ohio, 8 grandchildren and 2 great grandchildren. She is also survived by her sister, Judy (Kreighbaum) Dubois.
Friends may call from 10 am to 1 pm on Tuesday, May 2, at Hartzler-Gutermuth-Inman Funeral Home, 403 W. Franklin Street, Elkhart. The funeral service will be at 1 pm at the funeral home. The Rev. Bob VanKempen will officiate. Burial will be in Chapel Hill Memorial Gardens, Osceola, immediately thereafter.
Memorials may be given to Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park, Grand Rapids, Michigan for care of their bonsai collection.