Cheryl Gum Vandivort

On Aug. 16, 2013, Cheryl Gum Vandivort, slipped quietly away to meet her creator, departing from the Hospice Care facility in Elkins, and ending her courageous battle with cancer. Cheryl was born in Melbourne, Australia, on Sept. 24, 1944, the first daughter of the late William M. Gum and Ida Jean Gum. Cheryl and her mother travelled by ship, the S.S. Monterey, to the United States when Cheryl was 18 months old.

Cheryl is survived by her husband, Clyde Vandivort of Franklin, whom she married on July 18, 1993, in Virginia Beach, Va. She was 20 minutes late for her wedding. She also is survived by her loving family: sisters Cynthia Spencer (John) of Franklin; Valerie Haddix (Jerry) of Elkins; Paula Waters of Elkins; Cryss Fox of Valley Bend; Lisa Plum of Valley Bend; and brother, William A. Gum (Sara) of Elkins. She also was survived by very special nephews and nieces: W. John Gadd, Brett L. Haddix, Adrienne Spencer Sherrill, Heather Gadd Samonte and Jill Fox Currence and 11 great-nieces and nephews, who were very dear to her.

Cheryl grew up in Valley Bend, where she attended school at Homestead Elementary and graduated from Tygarts Valley High School in 1962. She worked for Judge Robert Maxwell early in her career as a legal secretary before moving to Virginia Beach, Va., where she worked for several years for federal Judge Walter Hoffman in a very rewarding capacity that included much travel and famous court cases. Cheryl graduated from Old Dominion University with a master’s degree in social work and made a career change to a licensed professional therapist and licensed marriage and family therapist and was a substance abuse counselor for many years.

Cheryl was a complex individual with a well-regarded sense of humor, an unparalleled generosity of spirit and a unique ability to balance her “no-nonsense” view of life with an “all-nonsense” way of living. Upon the death of her mother, Ida Jean Gum, Oct. 11, 2011, Cheryl became the self-proclaimed matriarch of the family. She loved her family, with whom she was always available, open and giving, freely sharing her time, her efforts and her worldly goods; her home was always open and she loved to prepare food for company, trying out the newest recipes.

Cheryl loved animals, domestic and wild, and was active (some would say “over-active”) in the rescue of dogs and cats needing a home. She was a staunch supporter of the movement to establish an animal shelter in Pendleton County. She loved birds and surrounded her home with the bushes and trees that would attract and harbor them, which also made an attractive environment for butterflies and people.

She enjoyed motorcycles and motorcycle culture and loved the sound of a Harley-Davidson.

Cheryl spent many years living and working in Virginia Beach, Va., and, until the end of her life, had a special place in her heart for the beach life and the friends she had made there and considered any day that included seafood a great success.

Even though she will be lovingly missed by the ones who loved her, there is great solace that she has found the peace and comfort all had prayed for.

Memorial contributions may be made in her honor to P.A.W.S. (the Pendleton Animal Welfare Shelter), P.O. Box 804, Franklin, WV 26807.

The Rev. Mario Claro will officiate memorial services on Saturday, Aug. 24, 2013, at 11 a.m. at the Basagic Funeral Home chapel, Franklin.