Cheryl passed away on May 11, 2020, at the age of 86. She was preceded in death by her husband, Lawrence F. Gepford, and her parents, Charles and Sylvia (Mussatto) Turecek. She is survived by her children, Lawrence F. (Rick) Gepford, Jr. (Gwen), Brian J. Gepford, Leslie K. Barnett, Elizabeth A. McCulley, and John M. Gepford, fourteen grandchildren, and six great grandchildren. She was born in Emporia, Kansas. Cheryl was a graduate of the University of Missouri-Kansas City with a BA and MA in Art. Because of her love of music, she frequently volunteered with the Kansas City Symphony and Johnson County Community College’s Carlsen Center.
Our memories of our mother are vivid and colorful. She was an accomplished water and snow skier who spent hours upon hours teaching her five kids. Her patience encouraged all of us to take the time to pass her lessons on to her grandchildren. She enjoyed racing even into her seventies, and she was fast enough that she often won skis and new gear. Even after she stopped racing, she continued to travel with the Kansas City Ski Club and others, traveling by bus, train, and airplane to see the world. We loved seeing the pictures and souvenirs she collected from around the world.
We can remember on the many trips we took (especially to Colorado) that she loved to collect rocks—lots and lots of rocks. For the beach vacations, she loved to collect seashells. Often these were side trips on the way home to gather a quick memory or addition to her rock garden. We fondly recall memories of the poor station wagon loaded down with so many rocks that the back end was sagging.
An avid artist, she loved to paint. In addition to paintings, she worked with a variety of media, including charcoals, watercolors, sculptures, and jewelry. There were weavings of mountains and trees, but we think she most enjoyed the truly unique city landscape collages she made out of scrap wood collected from all over the place.
Other hobbies included Bridge with several groups of friends, gardening, and spending time with her many grandchildren. Her generosity and love for her family knew no bounds. Over the years her yard and flower garden became the source for many of our plants. Her book suggestions and gifts from her library was the source or reason for some of our reading. Her travelogues were the guides for many of our trips. Then there was Christmas: she would shop and shop for the perfect gifts for each child and grandchild, but she also made sure we spent time as a family on Christmas Eve with what was affectionately known as the “pile,” ensuring each group of children or grandchildren alternated turns selecting from a wide variety of items, from Rubik’s cubes to pots and pans.
We would like to thank several organizations and their fine employees who took such good care of her during her later years. Brookdale on Wornall Road watched over her while she was still active. Forest Creek gave her great care for the remainder of her life. We would inevitably miss some if we tried to name all of the wonderful people here, but we want to acknowledge we really appreciate their loving treatment. Last, but not least, a heartfelt thank you to Great Lakes Hospice for their care.
A private memorial is planned. The family requests that in lieu of flowers that donations be made to the Kansas City Symphony.