Anna Mae Cheeseman

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October 11, 1923 to October 15, 2018
Anna Mae Cheeseman

Anna Mae Cheeseman, 95, our beloved mother, grandmother and great-grandmother, passed away in her home on October 15, 2018. Anna Mae spent her life serving, helping and guiding others.

She was born in Elgin, IA on October 11, 1923, to Clara Anderson Brabham and William Brabham and was the youngest of two children. After her father’s death, when Anna Mae was two years old, she and her brother, Bill, were raised by her mother, who worked as a farmer, housekeeper and practical nurse.

Anna Mae began her working life during high school. She loved children and studied education at Elkader Junior College. When she graduated from Junior College, she was offered a teaching position in the R.R.1 Cassidy School, a one-room schoolhouse on what is now Delta Road. Because her family had no car, she walked three miles, both to the schoolhouse and back home again, after the school day was over. She told many stories about the fields that she had to cross with angry cattle and long grass with snakes that she had to avoid. There was no phone at the school; so, she saved her money and put in a phone to make it safer for everyone. When it was dark, her mother, Clara, would walk halfway to meet Anna Mae, in order to accompany her the rest of the way home.

She married Dale Cheeseman in 1945, and they had three children, Dan, Claire and Dawn. The couple made their home on a farm outside of Elkader and worked together to build their life.
After her three children were born, she began teaching fourth grade at Central Community School in Elkader. She completed her B.A. teaching certificate at Upper Iowa University by attending summer school sessions. She taught at Central Community School for 30 years. After her retirement, she enjoyed seeing her former students in Elkader and reminiscing about when she had them in fourth grade. She often said that she treated her students like they were her own children.
Besides her family and teaching, Anna Mae loved the country life on the farm. She was an avid organic gardener and loved all animals; this included her dogs, cats and the beautiful wild animals on her farm. She taught her children to be kind to all creatures.

Anna Mae will be deeply missed by those she leaves behind. She was the matriarch that held our family together. We are left to honor and appreciate the deep and positive impact that she has had on all of us. She is survived by her son Dan and his daughter Astara, daughter Claire Wright and her husband Ernest, their children Andrea Gordon (David) and Enid Boeding (Ron), daughter Dawn Lowell and son Michael, and great-grandchildren Olivia and Alexis Gordon and Andrew and Ellis Boeding.

Services will be a private gathering of family, which was the express wish of Anna Mae. Cards are very appreciated; however, no flowers or memorials, please.


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