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Cheryl Rumsey

July 16th, 1944 - January 8th, 2022

Cheryl Ann Rudd Rumsey passed away peacefully on January 8, 2022. She has been a beacon of light to her family and her community since her birth on July 16, 1944, in Idaho Falls, Idaho. Cheryl was the third and youngest daughter of G. Lynn and Lucille Leatham Rudd of Parker, Idaho. Cheryl had a rich and varied childhood on their family farm. Along with her sisters, Dorla and Lynda, Cheryl had the privilege of helping her parents develop the farm, growing crops and raising animals. Cheryl especially loved horses. Riding was one of her great joys. Later, she taught her daughters to ride.

Cheryl loved get-togethers with her father’s family: especially at her Uncle Lowe’s place in Jenny Lake, Wyoming. Some of her best childhood memories were made there in shadow of the Grand Tetons.

She was baptized by her father on August 24, 1952. Parker Ward was a focal point in her life, where she received both religious and social training. She attended eight years in the old, red-brick, Parker schoolhouse and then continued her education at South Fremont High School in St. Anthony. She was the editor of the school newspaper, the Cougar Tale, and excelled in her classes. She also met Philip Rumsey at South Fremont. They were friends, but never dated. She never dreamed they would be married a few years later.

She graduated from South Fremont and started at Ricks College in 1962. She graduated with honors from Ricks in 1964 and graduated with honors from BYU, receiving her bachelor’s degree in English secondary education, with minors in History and Spanish in August 1966.

One week after her college graduation, she married Philip Rumsey in the Idaho Falls Temple on August 26, 1966. They made their first home in Moscow, Idaho, where Phil finished his degree in civil engineering at the University of Idaho. After Phil’s graduation, they moved to Seattle, where he attended graduate school and their first daughter, Anne, was born in 1968. A second daughter, Elaine, would follow in 1969.

Phil and Cheryl returned to Idaho to raise their family. Phil began his career as a civil engineer for the Idaho Transportation Department in Pocatello, and Cheryl began her teaching career at Irving Junior High School. She left her teaching position in 1976 when their third daughter, Lisa, was born. Shortly after, they bought forty acres near Downey, Idaho. They stocked the land with horses, cats, and dogs, and lived there for nearly forty years.

When Lisa was five, Cheryl returned to teaching. She was hired by Marsh Valley to teach English at the middle school. Soon, she was approached to start a foreign language program at Marsh Valley High School. Although she hadn’t taught Spanish before, she accepted the challenge wholeheartedly. She not only taught the Spanish language, she also taught the culture and art of Hispanic countries. She hosted mercados in her classroom and created an AP Spanish program. She reached out to students who had been labeled as lost causes. Her students loved her, and many of them served Spanish-speaking missions for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. She frequently acted as an interpreter and advocate for the local Spanish-speaking community. She continued her studies at the Universidad de Michoacán in Morelia, Mexico, and ISU, earning the equivalent of a master’s degree. Later, she took students to tour Spain: the first time many experienced a foreign country. She was named teacher of the year for Marsh Valley school district, and foreign language teacher of the year for the state of Idaho. She was runner-up to the overall teacher of the year for Idaho.

At Marsh Valley, Cheryl was a safe haven for those going through difficulties. Many students confided in her, and recognizing a need, she and her dear colleagues began the Natural Helper program which trained students how to respond and help others who struggled.

Cheryl had a firm testimony of the Savior. She was a life-long member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and served in many capacities in Virginia Ward: gospel doctrine teacher, Relief Society President, Primary President, and in the Stake Young Women’s presidency. She loved Girls Camp and, with Phil, became the base camp director of the Summiteer program, taking young women on high adventures in the Idaho mountains. She actively participated in the 4-H program: leading 4-H horse clubs and acting as the announcer for the Bannock County Fair.

After retiring, Cheryl and Phil served as temple workers in the Logan, Utah Temple. She loved working with the brides and Spanish-speaking patrons. Cheryl also loved indexing for the Church of Latter-day Saints. As Arimo Stake indexing director, she worked closely with church headquarters to improve the indexing system.

Cheryl and Phil loved their grandchildren. They attended games, concerts, recitals, and birthday parties. They traveled to National Parks, Disneyland, and Hawaii with their family. When Phil passed away in 2016, Cheryl moved to Rexburg to be closer to her daughter Elaine. They lived next door for three years, before Cheryl moved to the Homestead, an assisted living center. We are grateful for the team of care-givers at the Homestead and Hospice for their kindness.

Cheryl is preceded in death by her parents, G. Lynn and Lucille Rudd, her sister, Dorla Rudd Jenkins, and her husband Philip Rumsey. We know their reunion is joyful. She is survived by her sister, Lynda Rudd Hollist, and by her daughters, Anne Rumsey Wairepo (Jason), Elaine Rumsey Wagner (Thomas), and Lisa Rumsey Harris (Griffin). She is also survived by her grandchildren: Philip Andrew Wagner (Terann), Morgan Wagner Parkinson (Shaun), Spencer Wagner (Tayler), Dallin Wagner, Ben Wagner, Sela Harris, Sasha Harris, Clara Harris, Ella Harris, Eden Wairepo, Savanah Wairepo, Shea Wairepo, and Philip James Wairepo, great grandchildren: Lucy Joy Parkinson and Avery Elaine Parkinson.

Funeral services will be held on Tuesday, January 11, 2021 from 10:30 to 11:30 at the Harvest Hills Ward building at 612 S. Hidden Valley Road in Rexburg, Idaho. Friends may visit on Monday, January 10 from 6:30 to 8 p.m. at the Flamm Funeral Home and from 9 to 10 a.m. at the church prior to the service.