Woodrow Wilson Cheesman, II, died 18 March 2020 at home in Webb City, Missouri. He was born 9 February 1947 in Macomb, Illinois, the youngest of five children, to Woodrow and Hazel (Martin) Cheesman.
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His family moved west when he was young, eventually settling in California, where Woody grew up, playing baseball as a catcher and honing the entrepreneurial skills he would use the rest of his life. After he graduated from John Muir High School in Pasadena, he headed east in a car he bought for $100 to Illinois College in Jacksonville, Illinois. During his four years in college, he met and married Ruth Stewart, worked full-time for Osco Drug, had his first child, and earned a Bachelor’s degree in History, with a minor in English.
In the ensuing years, he moved often with his growing family, pursuing a better life. Among his occupations, he taught high school and coached football, baseball, and basketball; farmed in Illinois and Missouri; sold office products, agricultural seed, and insurance; and built two agricultural seed companies. He supported his second wife’s development of a hippotherapy program that assisted special needs children through horseback riding. In addition to working, he enjoyed raising chickens and turkeys, fishing with his grandchildren, and walking along creeks and through old rural cemeteries with his dog.
He is survived by his children Amy (and Rich) Gates, Heidi (and Rod) Schumacher, Woody (and Christine) Cheesman, and Marjorie Cheesman; grandchildren Lindsey, Lisa, Ryan, and Taylor Schumacher, Hannah, Nathaniel, and Lauren Cheesman, and Kamille Cheesman; siblings Marilyn (and Rees) Bevan, Earl (and Marilyn) Whittaker, Fran Burns, and Marjorie Henschke; former spouses Ruth (Cheesman) Fink and Marge Cheesman; numerous nieces and nephews; many dear friends; and his beloved dog Gabby.
The family will have a Celebration of Life ceremony at a later date.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to Oaks Indian Mission or another charity that helps children. The website for Oaks is https://www.oaksindianmission.org/.
Arrangements have been entrusted to Mason-Woodard Mortuary & Crematory.