Decatur, Illinois

Decatur, Illinois
Curve-In, Fairview Avenue

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Cheryl Lanum

When Cheryl Lanum was at MacArthur, according to the 1965 Cadet, there is a hint of what she would become someday. Was the tomorrow tale to be told in the fact she was a student council alternate as a freshman, in the Latin Club as a freshman and sophomore, or that she was a member of Future Nurses from her freshman through junior years? Indeed, was there even a hint of Cheryl's emerging future, in the last activity credited to her, as an active member of the homecoming committee helping with the floats as a senior?

Let's hear from Cheryl about what happened in her life, in her own words:

As we are preparing for our big reunion next year and starting to reconnect here, many of you may be thinking, "I don't really remember much about Cheryl Lanum." Well, that could be because, as many of you stated when signing my yearbooks, I was a "very quiet" and "shy" girl. I think that's why I always kept Donna ( friend since age 7) around. She ALWAYS did all the talking for me.

I owe a great deal of gratitude to the late great JR Coutrakon who spent a large part of one semester as my chemesty lab partner, and Steve Haury who likewise was my biology lab partner. Thanks to them, after Mac, I was able to get into Nursing School.

After graduation, by a process of elimination (it was the only opening left), I found myself starting to work in surgery. Yes, that would be the actual operating room. It seems I have a great knack for all aspects of surgical nursing and forty years later, it is still my passion. I am now the Orthopedic Team Coordinator at Decatur Memorial Hospital. If any of you are getting to a point where you need those hips and knees replaced, I can arrange that!

Finding a career that suited me so well gave me a confidence I had never known. I found my voice. I started getting over all that painful shyness. It was a good thing. I would need all the help I could get with my next and GREATEST passion of my life: children!

I, like many, have been married twice. Mikey is a podiatrist (yes, a foot surgeon I met in surgery!). [His name is Michael (Mike) Clark. I'm the only one that calls him Mikey, as noted in here.] We've been together 30 years now. I have a mine, his and ours crew. I have 3 children, 2 stepchildren, 3 grandchildren and 5 step grandchildren. My oldest son, Tim, and his wife live in Decatur. His son will be a junior, his daughter a sophomore at Mac this fall. His youngest is 16 months old. My daughter, Angela and her farmer husband live in Bloomington and are expecting their first child. My step kids are Jeff, in Bloomington with 3 boys, and Jennifer, in Pittsburgh with 2 boys. My "baby," Will, is 28, a Golf Pro in Bloomington. My only "at home" baby is my yellow lab, Wrigley.

All of my children were active, and I admit, I still worked when the first two were small. When Will was born, I took a 14 year maternity leave to stay home with the kids. "Stay home" is something that rarely happened. It started slowly, volunteering to go along on field trips, then being a room mother. Then Will learned how to talk. From that point on, whenever ANYONE said "could someone...?" Will would say, "My Mom will!" I became President of the PTA, petted my first python on the zoo trip, became secretary of the Mt. Zion Booster Club, Chairman (for 15 years) of the Junior Golf Program, baseball coach, designated Concert mom (that was cool! I even got to go to the Monsters of Rock festival in Indy with 6 teens!). Well, you get the idea. Good thing I wasn't shy anymore.

In between I've traveled to Canada fishing, Jamaica (16 times) golfing (and for my daughter's wedding), Key West to see the sunset from Mallory Square, and places too numerous to mention. I've seen Jimmy Buffett with all my Parrothead kids, been to Fan Fair in Nashville, seen VanHalen and the Monkees...and many, many more. To sum it up, once I came out of my shell, I found out that life is a great trip!

Directly above is Cheryl's actual first car, from Donna Camp's photo album.

My first car was a '58 Ford named "George." Dad bought it on my birthday in 1959. Sometime later, it became mine, and became Donna's primary ride until Wayne came along. I sold it for $50 when I finally was able to buy my own first car, a '68 Chevy Nova, named "Tony." Sadly, I still name my cars. Now I drive a red Sebring convertible named "JB," short for Jimmy Buffett. It seemed fitting for a beach kind of car. By the way, Donna still gets to ride in it once in awhile.

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