Sammie Faye Cheak, softly and tenderly passed into the arms of her Savior on Feb. 6, 2014.
In her 85 years, she built a life of unfathomable beauty and grace, having written a song of deep, abiding, genuine love on the hearts of her husband, family, and every person she knew. All who knew her loved her, and became blessed beyond measure to have parts of their lives intermingled with hers.
She was our Mother, "Momo," pastor's wife, teacher, counselor, mentor and friend.
Sammie was born on Aug. 7, 1928, in McKinney, Texas, to Samuel James and Amanda Ellen Nicar-Evans, one of the youngest of 14 children, with one remaining sister, Katharyn Hunter. Through Sunday School and a vocal coach, Sammie met her husband Daniel Gentry Cheak. In 1948 they married and for 59 years blessed one another.
As a wife, she served him daily in word and deed. Given the higher calling being a pastor's wife, she graciously managed the ebb and flow of supporting her husband in service, and growing her own relationship with all they served together. She was the aloe to the wounds of many hurting souls, and the cheerleader on the sidelines of so many learning to live the same life of grace.
She laughed with us, cried with us, counseled us, and sometimes offered the gentle pointing toward the right when we were in the wrong. To this day, the friends of her children and grandchildren look to her as a mother figure, their Ya-Ya Mama.
At the mention of her name, all smile and collectively sigh in the warmth of her spirit. She is easily the most giving soul we have known.
As a pastor’s wife, much of her life was lived in the open, but she viewed her role at home as her true higher-calling and was careful to serve her children and family first and deepest.
Dannie and Sammie had two children, Dannie Lynn Cheak and Paul Miller Cheak. Adding to the song of their life together, the family blended harmonies through the majors and minors of life in the ministry, the realities of hardships, conquering sin, Vietnam, moves far away and back again. She gave her two children every reason to always come home and filled the longing in their heart when they just needed to hear Mom.
From her two children, the family has grown to now seven grandchildren and 14 great-grandchildren.
Each of us holds our own special memories of our Momo. Many have times with her in the kitchen, learning to bake an apple pie, fry the perfect egg, set a table and properly use a fork. In those simple moments, we all learned from her patience, diligence, grace and the beautiful art of serving.
The formative years of her marriage and family were in Southern California. She ministered with her husband in several churches over the years in that area. In 1992 they moved north to homestead 10 acres.
Sammie was as down to earth as a woman can be, and the move was soothing to her soul, trading the bustle of the city for the quiet of the country fields. They continued to serve at churches throughout the northwest Washington area.
In 2007, she lost the love of her life, her Danny Boy, and became a widow. She moved from the large country home to the South Hill and closer to family.
In these last years, she continued to build beauty of the foundations of her life of service. She never ceased to seek and to speak peace and truth. Her deep faith in God and His saving power was evident. She was clear that the source of her strength was Jesus, her Saviour. As a girl, she had given her heart to him. Throughout her life He was her gentle guide, healer, comfort and joy.
It is her deep desire that all her family come to the same knowledge and relationship with Jesus and will join her in heaven one day.
Her family includes: children. Dannie Lynn Cheak and Paul (wife Gail) Cheak; grandchildren and great-grandchildren: Tonya Plummer Berthelot (husband Peter) Berthelot, and children Kellen, Kenna, Kerraline and Kelsea; Beau Plummer (wife April) Plummer, and children Jordan and Dylan; Caleb Cheak (wife Gretchen) Cheak; Jared Cheak (wife Sherri) Cheak, and children Christian, Gabby, and Baby; Amanda Christiansen (husband Caleb) Christianson, and children Alexis, Joshua, and Jacob; Michelle Wright (husband Brian) Wright, and children Emily, Abigail, and Brandon; Lauren Cheak and fiance Michael Keough
The celebration of her life will be on Thursday, Feb. 13, 2014, at 2 p.m., at the First Baptist Church of Deer Park, E1205 Crawford Ave. Immediately following there will be the graveside memorial at Woodland Cemetery, W5410 Monroe Road, Deer Park.
In the words of Momo, "See you at the house!"
Lauer Funeral Home, Deer Park, was in charge of arrangements.