Cheryl Russell

Cheryl Russell

Cheryl Russell, 71, of Mount Vernon, passed away Oct. 22, 2021, at St Luke’s Hospital, Cedar Rapids, after a spirited battle with Covid. She was with family at her bedside and surrounded by love.

Cheryl Ellen Rutherford was born April 3, 1950, to Glenn and Maxine Rutherford in Manilla. She graduated from Washington High School in Cedar Rapids in 1968, and received a bachelor’s degree from the University of Iowa in 1972. She returned to school at Kirkwood to become a respiratory therapist.

While working at St. Luke’s Hospital, Cheryl met her future husband, Arlen Russell, and they were married in 1984. They had their first child, Curtis, in 1985 and their second, Colin, in 1986. The family eventually settled in Mount Vernon in 1991 where Cheryl put down roots and became very involved in the community. Cheryl returned to school again for her horticulture degree to further her life-long love of growing things. She eventually opened her own business gardening and making homemade soap.

Her greatest joy was her family, especially her grandchildren in recent years. Cheryl was known to celebrate every birthday with a homemade chocolate angel food cake. She cultivated the most impressive gardens and loved all things Irish. Even in retirement, Cheryl was perpetually picking up hobbies and traveling. Cheryl could be found knitting, reading, gardening, baking, making soap, sewing, crafting, learning Irish, researching family genealogy, eating dark chocolate, and becoming a fierce pickle ball player.

In 2020, Cheryl was diagnosed with and conquered Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. Even during chemotherapy, Cheryl had the drive and energy to plan and go on her final trip to Ireland and Scotland with her husband and friends.

Cheryl is preceded in death by her parents, Glenn and Maxine and step father, Walter. She is survived by her husband, Arlen; children, Curtis (Sheila) of Van Meter, Colin (Jordan) of Earlham; grandchildren, Jaxson and Rhett; brother, Lynn Rutherford and sister-in-law, Linda Stumpff Rutherford.

In lieu of sending flowers, please plant your own flowers or trees in your yard or community in remembrance of Cheryl. A celebration of life will be held in Spring of 2022.

Please share your support and memories with Cheryl’s family on her Tribute Wall at under Obituaries.

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