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Michael Craig Cherry, passed away on February 3, 2018 at home in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, at the age of 51.
Craig was born to Aubrey Cherry and Frances Cherry on April 17, 1966 in El Paso, Texas, where he grew up and graduated from Coronado High School. He proudly served in the United States Air Force during Desert Storm and upon completion of his military service, he and his wife, Shelly Eitniear Cherry, settled their family in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.
Craig was a Certified Energy Manager & Energy Auditor and had a life-long career in building automation. He first worked for Automated Building Systems and then for the State of Oklahoma, where he attained the position of State Facilities Director. During his career with the State, he was credited with implementing energy efficient programs that resulted in significant and on-going cost savings to the State of Oklahoma.
Craig was passionate about his involvement with the Oklahoma soccer community. He started as the typical Dad who coached because his daughters played. He discovered early on that his real interest was in the referee side of the sport. After becoming a certified through the National Intercollegiate Soccer Officials Association (NISOA) he refereed games at the local and state recreational level for all ages and then became certified to referee high school and college games. In addition to officiating games, Craig was actively involved in the administrative aspects of the chapter.
Craig is survived by his devoted and loving wife, Shelly; daughters Tamara Cherry (fiancé, Chase Martinez), Heather Schreiber (Michael), Jenny Mellor (Daniel), Kym Woodman (David), granddaughters, Elizabeth and Alayna; parents, Aubrey and Frances Cherry, brother Clay Cherry (Diane), sisters Melanie Jones (Dave) and Maryetta Cherry, several nieces, nephews, cousins and good friends who all loved him very much. He is preceded in death by brother and sister-in-law, Rick and AJ Cherry.
Our family would like to give special thanks to the members of the Oklahoma City Chapter of the NISOA and to the Oklahoma Soccer Association. Craig always thought of you as family and we will be forever grateful for the love, support and friendship you gave him and our family.
We also want to thank Drs. Greg Krempl and Mohammad Razaq and their team at Stephenson Cancer Center; and to the staff at Oklahoma City Hospice. We are especially grateful to Toni White and Scott Baze with Oklahoma City Hospice for making sure that Craig was always comfortable and maintained his dignity right up to the end. We also appreciate the support and guidance they gave our family.
In lieu of flowers memorial donations may be given to support the patients in the Head and Neck Clinic at the Stephenson Cancer Center. https://giving.oufoundation.org (Under “Your Gift”, please select “Other” and specify “Assistance for head and neck clinic patients.”
Graveside service with military honors will be held at 11:00 a.m. on Saturday, February 24, 2018 at Heritage Burial Park at South Lakes (4000 SW 119th St., Oklahoma City, OK 73173).
A Celebration of Life Service will be held from 2:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. on Sunday, February 25, 2018 at South Lakes Even Center (4302 SW 19th Street, Oklahoma City, OK). We encourage everyone to wear their #cherrystrong shirt. For those who don’t have one, please wear something bright yellow or gold.