It is with heavy hearts that we announce the passing of Cheri Maloney Anderson, our beloved mother, grandmother, sister, teacher, volunteer, and friend. Cheri passed away on April 26th at the age of 71 surrounded by her family.
She was born in Porterville, CA to Monty and Geraldine Maloney. Growing up, Cheri cherished her time spent on the ranch with her favorite horses, participating in gymkhana events and the 4-H Club. She graduated from Porterville High School in 1969, then attended California Polytechnic State University – San Luis Obispo, where she majored in Physical Education, was an officer in the Womens Glee Club and helped to welcome new students each year as a counselor for Week of Welcome.
After graduation she returned to Porterville to begin her career as a Special Education teacher at various schools throughout Tulare County. Cheri’s passion for teaching and helping others led her to a fulfilling career that spanned over 30 years. She was known for her kindness, patience, and dedication to her students. Cheri valued the time spent with her many cherished colleagues who became some of her closest friends. She raised her three children in Porterville and was their ultimate support system.
Beyond her role as a teacher, Cheri was a natural caregiver, unconditionally loving, protective and thoughtful, which was shown through the care she provided to her parents, elderly aunts and uncles, and numerous friends. She enthusiastically supported the causes important to her friends and family – including as a volunteer with the Special Olympics (where she staged the track events each year) and the Porterville Panther Band.
While earning her EMT License, she met her second husband David Anderson. David and Cheri were married for 35 years. After retirement in 2012, Cheri and David moved to Whidbey Island, WA where she quickly adapted to island life and became an involved and beloved member of the community. Cheri found joy in volunteering at Meerkerk Gardens and at Admiralty Head Lighthouse where she loved sharing the structure’s 117-year-old history with visitors. In 2020 Cheri & David were named Washington State Parks Volunteers of the Year for their 300 combined volunteer hours.
Cheri will be remembered for her quick laugh, willingness to dive headfirst into a new situation, putting others first and her commitment to her community and family. She loved to go crabbing, spend time with her kids and grandchildren, make deviled eggs for every get together, share gifts of homemade fudge during Christmas, and throw the frisbee for her beloved Australian Shepherd Casey. Cheri loved nothing more than making sure her guests had their favorite drinks on hand, so in honor of Cheri, please raise a glass to a life well lived and loved.
She is survived by her husband David, children Jamie (Melissa), Brenden and Brad (Anna), grandchildren, brother Tim (Meredith), and extended family members. The family would like to thank the staff at the University of Washington Medical Center for their compassionate care. In lieu of sending flowers, the family asks that donations be made to Meerkerk Gardens.
A private celebration will be held for Cheri’s closest family and friends.