July 6, 1961 - December 23, 2020
Fort Atkinson, WI - Cheryl Lanette (Bragg) Stedman was born in Neillsville, Wisconsin on July 6, 1961 and passed away on December 23, 2020 after battling COVID-19.
The daughter of David and Luella (Ratsch) Bragg, she was raised in rural Neillsville. She received a bachelor's degree in elementary education from UW-Stevens Point. At UW-SP, Cheryl met her soulmate and best friend, David Stedman. They married on September 29, 1984. In their 38 years together, 36 of which were by marriage, David and Cheryl enjoyed adventures including the annual Leinenkugel Family Reunion in Chippewa Falls and visiting many state and national parks. Cheryl 'never met a stranger'. She struck up conversations in airports and made friends while volunteering and traveling. Their travels included cruises, trips abroad, and visits to 45 states. For their 35th anniversary, David surprised Cheryl with a vow renewal at church.
A loyal employee for 31 years of Highsmith Company/Demco, she received Demco's 'Salesperson of the Year' award in 2018 and retired in 2020.
As a member of First Congregational United Church of Christ, she served in many positions including council member, lay reader, and not surprising, a greeter. Her love of theater led her to volunteer with groups such as Fort Atkinson Community Theatre and the Council for the Performing Arts of Jefferson County. Cheryl joined David as a member of Lions Clubs International Organization by joining the Jefferson Lions Club. She served as Jefferson Lions' first female Club President. Their combined enthusiasm and desire to serve took them to the Lions International Convention in Hawaii, the Lions 100th Anniversary in Chicago, and the USA Lions Leadership forums in Ohio and Washington.
Her diagnosis of Lupus in 1989 did not prevent her from doing the things she loved. However, it took her in another direction with volunteering. She jumped in wholeheartedly with the National Kidney Foundation of Wisconsin and the UW Health Organ and Tissue Organization promoting kidney disease education and organ/tissue donor awareness. Along with their team, Cheryl's Cheerleading Champions, she and David participated in many fun runs/races to raise awareness about organ donation. Cheryl was blessed to receive a kidney transplant in 2016 and was always grateful to her anonymous donor.
Cheryl enjoyed gardening, traveling, attending plays and musicals, watching Hallmark movies, and spending time with her dogs, Mia and Lucy as well as time with family and friends. Cheryl touched many lives through so many avenues.
She was preceded in death by her parents; sister, Luann Erickson; brother, Larry Daniels; sisters-in-law, Jacqueline Daniels, Bonnie Dahnert, and Sue Daniels and nephew, Jason Dahnert. She is survived by her husband, David; brother, Steve Daniels; sister, Susan (Evan) Erickson; brother-in-law, Dean Dahnert; nieces Tina (Chris) Mueller, Jennifer Erickson, and Briggita (Nathan) Brickl, and nephews Dale Erickson, Matthew Daniels, Justin (Jill) Erickson; and Jason (Mandy) Erickson.
Christian burial will be at Evergreen Cemetery in Fort Atkinson on January 2nd, 2021 at 9:00 am. Visitation at First Congregational United Church of Christ is at 10:00 am followed by a service celebrating Cheryl's life at 11:00 am. Those concerned about attending because of COVID restrictions can join by accessing the church's YouTube channel through their website: www.fortfcc.org.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to David for charitable distribution or directly to the following charities that were near and dear to Cheryl's heart:
First Congregational United Church of Christ
Fort Atkinson Community Theatre
Fort Atkinson Food Pantry
Jefferson County Humane Society
Restoring Hope Transplant House
Wisconsin Lions Pride Endowment Fund
The Dunlap Memorial Home in Fort Atkinson is assisting the family.