Cheryl Ann VanBuskirk Hedge, age 69, of Rattan, Okla., clasped the hand of her savior and stepped into her Heavenly home on May 30, 2020 at St. Michael’s Hospital in Texarkana, Texas, following an extended illness. Cheryl was born to Bill and Beatrice (Hamilton) VanBuskirk in Ardmore, on Aug. 17, 1950. She was their eldest child. Growing up in Walters and Wilson, Okla., she graduated from Wilson High School in 1968 and then attended Murray State College in Tishomingo for her associate’s degree and concluded her higher education with a master’s degree in education from Southeastern Oklahoma State University in Durant. Cheryl began her career in public education in Madill, before moving to Broken Bow, where she taught at the small elementary school in Glover, later becoming their principal. She had lived and worked in the Rattan area since her marriage to Billy Carrol Hedge on Nov. 24, 1987. Cheryl began teaching in Rattan in 1991 where she later became the beloved principal of Rattan Elementary School in 1996, a post she held until her retirement in December 2011 culminating 40 years of service to the children of Oklahoma.
After God, Cheryl’s family was her total commitment. Cheryl believed in strong character, and in truth, honesty and integrity. A dedicated and devout member of the Victory Assembly of God Church in Rattan, Cheryl lived her faith and led her family in the example of a Christian mother. Rising each morning before her family, she read her Bible and prayed before tackling the obligations of the day. However, her commitment to her family was manifested each day as she cooked supper for her husband and child, a commitment of which she was inordinately proud. Cheryl enjoyed simple pleasures. She enjoyed traveling and eating at “all the good places” and looked forward each summer to a new destination with Kristen, family and friends. One of her favorite memories is driving significantly off course to eat at Paula Deen’s flagship restaurant, a decision that—according to Kristen-- didn’t disappoint! Her music play list consisted primarily of sacred music especially those old hymns of praise sung by her favorite recording artists, The Gaither Family. She loved listening to Jimmy Swaggart and perusing Facebook on her trusty iPad. Of course, if you knew Cheryl, you knew that one of her favorite pastimes was shopping, or as Kristen put it “shop till everyone dropped!”
In addition to her husband Billy Carrol of the home, Cheryl is survived by her only child Kristen JaneAnn Hedge, and Ghus Bailey, the awaited child of Kristen and Kody Bailey. She is also survived by her brother Lyndal VanBuskirk (Janet) of Ringling; a sister-in-law Charlene Hedge of Rattan and many nieces and nephews whom she adored: Laticia Dulaney, Hallee Knight (Jayden), Konlee Dulaney, Brinlee Dulaney, and Colin Dulaney, Frank VanBuskirk(Susan), Sam VanBuskirk, Madison VanBuskirk, Aubrey VanBuskirk, Vanissa Rozzell (Blaine), Railyn Rozell, Holden Sumbera, Colby VanBuskirk (Robin), Hayden VanBuskirk, Kirsten Kessler, Hudson Nutter, Bill Baker (Kristin) Guy Baker, Brad Baker (Ashley), David Baker, Brooklyn Baker, Kya Baker, Makenzie Baker, Brady Baker (Shanna) Caiden Baker, Jolie Baker, Jerry Baker, Jaymie Baker, and Jayden Baker. Mrs. Hedge is also survived by many close friends and students who cherished her. Cheryl was preceded in death by her parents, Bill and Beatrice VanBuskirk, her father-in-law and mother-in-law, Oscar and Irene Hedge, her sister and brother-in-law, Helen and Randy Baker, a niece Milissa Glazier, a nephew, Perry Hedge, and a brother- in-law, Wayne Hedge.
Family night is scheduled for Tuesday evening, June 2, from 6-7 p.m. at Serenity Funeral Service, 145 W. Main in Antlers, Okla. Funeral services will be held at 2 p.m. on Wednesday, June 3, at Victory Assembly of God in Rattan with Pastor Bryan Fouts officiating. Interment will be at Rattan Cemetery in Rattan, Okla.
Pallbearers will be Frank VanBuskirk, Colby VanBuskirk, Bill Baker, Brad Baker, Brady Baker, and Holden Sumbera. Serving the family as Honorary Pallbearers are Curtis and Nancy Rose, Tink and Sherrie Grimmett, Austin and Linda Lindly, Johnny and Debbie Smith, and Lyndal and Janet VanBuskirk.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Cheryl’s memory to the Rattan Public School Building Fund for the new gymnasium at Rattan Public Schools, P.O. Box 44, Rattan, OK 74562.
Posted online on June 03, 2020