Constituents Deceased list

Cheryl Boynton Cleeves ’73 was born on Sept. 14,1951, in Key West, Florida, to Harvey and Helen Boynton. Her father had a career in the Navy and moved his family with each new stationing. They lived in Key West, Charleston, Groton, Oklahoma City, and finally Cupertino. Cheryl graduated from Cupertino High. She loved telling stories about sneaking through orchards on the way to one adventure after another. She danced classical ballet until she broke her foot in an audition for a New York company. She played oboe in the school band. She ignored her guidance counselor’s advice to “go to De Anza, meet a nice boy, and get married” and instead went to SCU, helping to pay through her education through work-study at Ames Research and scholarships. Her work at Ames was published in Nature during her senior year. She was active in musical theater through college and beyond, graduating with a B.S. in biology and then completing a teaching credential through UC Berkeley Graduate School. She took her first full-time teaching job in Paradise Valley, Arizona, working two years and making several lifelong friends. Cheryl married her college sweetheart in 1978, who became her husband of over 40 years. They lived in Redwood City and raised Lauren, Erik, and Patrick there. Cheryl taught from 1974 to 2012. Most of that time she was known as “The Science Lady,” teaching at Clifford School. It was at a bit less than full time so she could be there when the kids got home from school. She wasn’t just a soccer mom, she was a river rafting, skiing, boogie boarding, baseball, basketball, band, stage, volleyball, football, track … mom. And she did many of those activities herself. She was also a runner, completing several marathons, and an avid traveler. She car-camped across the U.S. one summer with just her two preteen boys. She made numerous trips to Europe, several to India and China, then more to Southeast Asia. She volunteered at Yosemite, living in the valley for a month each summer. She was always ready for a travel adventure. The highlight of those travels though was probably the 791km she walked across the north of Spain with her teaching/traveling buddy in 2015. She would walk twice more, but lesser distances as the Alzheimer’s toll began to accumulate. Cheryl was passionate about teaching science to young children and got great joy from the classroom. It was only the difficulties associated with Alzheimer’s that caused her to retire. She died peacefully in her Redwood City home on Nov. 21, 2018—but she didn’t go without a fight. She participated in two drug studies at UCSF, and donated her brain to their research. She is survived by her husband, three children, and one grandchild.

30 Jan 2019