Gerald H. Cheever

October 14, 1944 ~ April 1, 2024 (age 79) 79 Years Old

Gerald Cheever Obituary

Gerald H. Cheever, 79, died peacefully on Monday, April 1, 2024, after a brief illness.

Born in Worcester, Massachusetts, to the late Herbert and Mary (Derry) Cheever, he spent much of his childhood in the nearby town of Boylston. After graduating from West Boylston High School, he moved to Westfield to attend Westfield State College, where he earned his Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Education, as well as a Certificate of Advanced Graduate Studies (CAGS). While at Westfield State he met his future wife, Kathleen (née Campbell) of Holyoke, to whom he was married for 52 years.

Although his youthful fascination with cars and “hotrods” made him dream of becoming a mechanic and working professionally on the racing circuit, it was at college where he discovered that teaching was his true vocation. During a 30 year career as a math teacher at East Granby Middle School, in East Granby, Connecticut, he excelled both in and out of the classroom, and built a reputation as a teacher who could connect with students labelled “difficult” by colleagues or administrators. Not one to be constrained by the official curriculum, he embraced alternative methods of connecting with his students, and spent one Spring building a greenhouse after school with volunteer students from his classes.

As fulfilled as he was by his role as a teacher, he took greatest pride in his role of father to his two sons, Timothy and Daniel. Despite juggling three jobs in the early years of his growing family, he always prioritized time with his children, leaning into both the serious – and fun – sides of parenting. He was a regular fixture at sporting practices and games, and enjoyed coaching both little league baseball and youth soccer. As his children grew, he excitedly taught them about his passion for golf and pool, never spoiling a lesson by letting them win. Not a talkative man, Gerry chose his words carefully and made them count, using his well-known dry humor to punctuate the often irreverent life rules and advice he offered to his sons, who remember them well and seem to repeat them in all their mutual conversations.

In his later years, he liked spending time with his granddaughters, learning what they were interested in and seeing them grow. When he was able, he especially enjoyed attending their sporting events, even if he did struggle to just watch and not try to coach! He build many happy memories with his granddaughters during summers on Cape Cod, beating them (repeatedly) at dominos and proving himself to be an unexpectedly good Monopoly player.

Gerry is survived by his wife, Kathleen; his two sons, Timothy and Daniel; his sister, MaryJane St. Francis; his cousin, Kathleen Pender; his grandchildren, Madeline, Catherine, and Charlotte; and several nieces and nephews, including: Joel St. Francis, Julie St. Francis, Joeseph Cheever, Christina Cheever, and Colleen Cheever. He was pre-deceased by his brothers Herbert Cheever and Lawrence Cheever.

Calling hours will be on Friday, April 5, from 4:00-6:00 PM at Firtion-Adams, 76 Broad Street, Westfield, MA 01085. A brief service will immediately follow the calling hours. The burial will be private.


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April 5, 2024

4:00 PM to 6:00 PM
Firtion - Adams Funeral Svc (Broad Street)


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