Rachel Dean Cheesman Lyda
July 29, 1930 – December 3, 2016
Rachel Dean “Deanie”, age 86, passed away December 3, 2016, at the St. Francis Medical Center. She was born to Milton Clifford and Hazel Achord Cheesman on July 29, 1930, in El Paso County, and was proud to say she was a graduate of the Colorado Springs High School Class of 1949!
She is survived by her four loving children: sons Tim and Mark; daughters Nancy Bass (husband John) and Peggy Sue Winter (husband Don); grandsons Timothy Bass (wife Ivonne – great grandchildren Nathalie and Micah), Jason Winter (wife Valerie), pre-deceased granddaughter Kate Winter Bettner (great grandson Nickolas). She is also survived by her twin sister and best friend Rose Howell and her family; brothers Robert Cheesman and Dr. Samuel “Bud” Cheesman and his family; and her cousin who was like a sister to her, Pat Allen, a very special person in her life.
Deanie was a quiet, loving and caring mother to her four children, raising them as a single mother in the 60s and 70s. With the support of her loving family, she learned to drive, worked odd jobs, and continued her education, earning a business certificate at Blair Business College; and landing a job with the El Paso County Department of Social Services in bookkeeping, where she later retired as a supervisor.
When asked what was important to her when looking back on her life, the first things she would talk about were her family, her home, and her friends. Deanie loved to cook and didn’t need a special occasion or a holiday for one of her spectacular meals. Her kitchen shelves were lined with cookbooks and three ring binders full of recipes from around the country and world. Son Mark, a gourmet chef, was always sending her something new to try, as well as her many friends and colleagues from the Daughters of the American Revolution, to which she was a proud member.
When she was able, Deanie loved visiting the Cheesman Ranch Trail and Ranch located in Mueller State Park, Teller County, which brought back many childhood memories. As the years passed, her love of square and country dancing never passed, but the body didn’t seem to want to cooperate. Deannie never complained. She was perfectly content to listen to the music, watch others dance or maybe – just maybe – have one sloe gin fizz. If dancing wasn’t on tap, then maybe historical clipping was… Deanie has newspaper clippings of people, places and things that somehow impacted her life, dating back several decades. For those of us not in tune as to the story behind the clipping, it is a mystery. There are hundreds of them!
Finally, no grandchild or great grandchild could have a better grandma or great grandma-ma than Deanie. Words cannot convey that which cannot be expressed from the heart of a loving woman like Deanie for the blessings those little ones brought to her.
While we miss Deanie, we are thankful the difficulties later life can bring are over. Many blessings were received from her caregivers, including Aden Home Care, Vera Care Hospice, the staff at St. Francis Medical Center, and her dear family. Special thanks to Hilde, Albert, Grace, Debbie, Sherry, Jauna, Cory, Becca, Lynda, and son-in-law Don for the hours of enjoyment she received from listening to him play his accordion. Deanie loved music and was so proud and always eager to hear her great grandchild Nathalie play her guitar, and was pleased to hear Micah was also taking up guitar. She also loved listening to Kelsie, granddaughter of Rosie, play her cello and was so proud of her accomplishments, including playing with the Denver Young Artists Orchestra, currently performing with the Colorado Symphony Orchestra and the Lamont Symphony Orchestra (University of Denver).
Deanie accepted Christ as her Saviour and was baptized in the 60s, and while she was a woman of a quiet faith, her actions were truly reflective of a Christ-like spirit who always put others first before herself. We are a large family but a family of faith and a family that looks to be reunited with our dear ones in the not too distant future… where “no eye has seen, no ear has heard, no human mind can conceive the things which God has prepared for those who love Him.” I Corinthians 2:9.
We will celebrate her life and the day she was received through Christ into eternity with a 10:00 am Visitation, 11:00 am Service on Friday, December 9, at the Shrine of Remembrance, 1730 E. Fountain Boulevard, with a Luncheon Reception to follow at the Olympian Plaza Reception and Event Center, 975 S. Union Boulevard. A private burial will take place at Fairview Cemetery of Colorado Springs. In lieu of flowers, memorial gifts in her honor are suggested to the Catholic Charities Marian House Soup Kitchen and Immigration Services, where granddaughter Ivonne works as a Counselor, Humane Society of the Pikes Peak Region, Dumb Friends League (animal rescue and adoption shelter), and the American Cancer Society.