Albert L. "Red" Cheek, 89, of Stillwater, Oklahoma, left the building on June 27, 2011. His memorial service was held at 10 a.m. Thursday, June 30, at the Palmer-Marler Funeral Home in Stillwater, with interment afterward at Sunset Memorial Gardens.
Born to Bill and Allie Cheek on Dec. 30, 1921, near San Saba, Texas, Red was the ninth of 11 children. He attended San Saba High School and went on to play football for Baylor University in Waco. He joined the Marines during WWII, served in numerous campaigns in the Pacific and was awarded the Bronze Star. Among Red’s many accomplishments, he was a singer/guitar player/story teller who was featured in an article in Colliers Magazine; dubbed "Troubador of the Pacific," he later went on to sing and play guitar with Hank Thompson after the war. Red finished school to become an educator for 33 years; he was a teacher, a coach and inspiration to thousands of students, including his own children. In 1946 Red married Ouida Guyton of Waco, and after moving to Arizona, together they raised five children. Good with both horses and kids, Red worked as a horse wrangler for 32 summers at camps in Arizona, California and Wisconsin. Red and Ouida divorced in 1966, and after living alone several years, he met and married fellow educator Helen Brown in 1974. When Helen became a professor of math at OSU, they moved to Oklahoma where they lived a happy rural life until Helen died of cancer in 1986. Red took comfort in Helen’s children, his own children and grandchildren, and all children at local schools where he made it his habit to visit during Christmas with small toys and treats.
Red Cheek filled every room he entered, and the empty space he leaves behind is a reminder of how much of himself he gave to the world. He was cantankerous, talkative, funny, big-hearted and sloppy – and we who remain will miss him terribly. We love you Pop! Rest in peace... Your brother Jeff, and Cheek-kids of at least 4 generations.
Red is survived by his brother Jeff, of Medford, OR; sons, Danny of Tonto Basin, AZ; and Don of Prescott, AZ; daughters, Dixie Cheek of Bellingham, WA; and Deborah Cheek of Stateline, NV; step-daughters, Dianne Harbour of Tonto Basin, AZ; Penny Palmer Oyler of Tulsa, OK; and Sandy Connolly of Little Rock, AR; and numerous grandchildren and great-grandchildren.