Cheryl left us to mourn her on Dec. 21, 2020, at the age of 53. Her decade battling metastatic breast cancer is mercifully complete, but she is gone from us far too soon. She takes her place in heaven rejoicing with her Savior Jesus Christ and departed family.
Cheryl was born in Davidson, Saskatchewan, moving to Yale, B.C., at age 3. She lived in the house that is now the Yale Historic Museum. Working as a child at a fruit stand and the local hotel, she didn’t know she would one day revel at her good fortune to be there. As she began high school, the family moved to Hope, B.C., where Cheryl was welcomed at Grace Baptist Church activities. To finish high school she moved to Langley, B.C.
In July 1989 Cheryl married Arnold Szelecz. The family produced three beloved children and lived in Mission, B.C., before the father left for Alberta. Now living in Abbotsford, the eldest child, Adam, had been diagnosed with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy. Cheryl did her best as a single mother raising two sons and a daughter. Together, life necessarily centered upon the many activities of Adam’s progressing disability. With the help of dear friends, Cheryl made sure they found much happiness along the way.
In 2008 Cheryl began a pen-pal correspondence with an American soldier serving in Iraq. Cheryl married Rand Marston in 2010. They set out for a posting in Arizona, where they enjoyed visiting outdoor sites. Cheryl attended to breast cancer concerns as an obstacle to caring for her family. While Rand continued his service, Cheryl and Adam returned to Abbotsford, B.C., in 2012. Cheryl officially joined the Lynden, WA community in late 2014 as Rand ceased travel. Adam passed away at age 26 in 2016, having prospered at home under Cheryl’s care team leadership.
Now focusing on her own care, Cheryl sought fresh air and treatment. She loved hiking. From 2016 she studied with Bible Study Fellowship, having made friends at both the Lynden Community Church and Bethel CRC congregations. Cheryl bravely battled as cancer spread finally to her brain. We remember Cheryl for her engaging joyful spirit. She lived Proverbs 17:22 and lifted the hearts of so many along her way.
Cheryl was predeceased not only by Adam, but also her mother, Mary French of Hope; her father, Bob Payne; and stepfather Lawrence French of Hope.
She is survived by her husband, Rand, of Lynden; sister Maureen French of Abbotsford; son Aaron Szelecz of Edmonton, AB; daughter Leah Szelecz, son-in-law Josh Cumberland and granddaughters Ava and Willow of Entwhistle, AB; and step-daughter Audrey Marston of Valdosta, GA.
Find arrangements at www.gilliesfuneralhome.com.
A memorial sing service will be held via Facebook Live Stream (https://www.facebook.com/bethelcrclynden/live) at 11 a.m. Monday, Jan. 11, 2021.