How do you capture someone’s life in a few paragraphs? I guess I will do my best to highlight what I know about Cheryl. After Cheryl became ill, she told me in confidence that she wholeheartedly felt that she lived a full life. She met the love of her life and got married, experience having a child, travel, live life full of laughter joy and sorrow, and surround her life with loving family and friends.
Cheryl was born in Honolulu Hawaii at the Tripler Hospital to mother Rebecca and father Kenneth. She was followed by a younger sibling Kenneth Fernandez Jr. “Junior”. She lived between Hawaii and Southern California primarily in San Diego as well as Northern California (SF Bay Area). She attended elementary school at August Ahrens Elementary, middle school at Montgomery Junior, Southwest High School, and graduated from the University of Hawaii with a degree in Political Science. Cheryl was a very bright and intelligent woman and graduated with honors from high school with a full ride eligibility to UCLA but decided to go to UH. She was in ROTC in high school, travelled as a flight attendant with Hawaiian Airlines, won several beauty pageant contests and runner up for Miss Hawaii. She held various jobs from working as a server at John Dominis, teller at Bank of America, sales at Paradise Beverage and Southern Wine and Spirits, Sheraton in hospitality sales, and eventually her career finally was at the Hawaii Visitor and Convention Bureau where her job was to entice companies to hold their incentives programs in the state of Hawaii which promoted tourism. She was so dedicated and loved her career. She was extremely business savvy and a natural salesperson who can organize spectacular events for her clients. The funny thing is that we were both successful salespeople and always tried to teach other different sales methodologies.
Cheryl loved her family above and beyond everything and accepted all the challenging times as she grew into adulthood. She had cousins that she thought of as sisters and valued their advice. She had aunt’s that were like the other mothers and played additional female role models in her life. She loved her brother dearly through all the trials and tribulations growing up together. She was extremely spiritual and a dedicated member of Christianity. At one time, she was the president of a Filipino United Methodist Organization in her younger years and comes from a family lineage of devoted Christians.
For those who knew her well, they knew about her certain personality traits like the fact that she was overly organized, meticulous, and even to the point of OCD / anal retentive behavioral patterns. She had to have everything organized a certain way and had a method to her madness. I love every bit of it.. Sometimes the unique idiosyncrasies in others are what make them special. She LOVED DOGS.. In fact, I believe she loved them more than people. She always needed to stop if a dog was running in the streets to help them find their home. She couldn’t bare to watch any form of cruelty on dogs or animals. She would treat them like children and would spoil them incessantly. S
he loved cooking and everything associated with it. She would be glued to watching the Food Network and knew every chef by name, style of their cuisine, and pretty much how to make their recipes. I think she has seen every episode of the Iron Chef and we used to debate on who would win. Ironically, I am the farthest thing from a chef or culinary artist. One of her valued treasures is her recipe book that if she could of put it in a safe she would. She was also a wine enthusiast and taught me how to appreciate the different palates and art of tasting. A significant part of our wedding registry were Riedel glasses since they were one of the best for wines and we had a large cabinet full of every wine accessory to serve a large party..
Some of Cheryl's favorite flowers were lillies and tulips. She loved plants and home and gardening. My most important job when she was travelling for work was to water the plants!!! Some of her favorite musicians are Jack Johnson (I took her to see him live in concert in Berkeley, Coldplay (we were eating at a restaurant in San Francisco right next to them and didn't even know it. The unfortunate thing is that they happened to be in concert the same day as Jack Johnson in San Jose), 10,000 maniacs (I believe she saw them in concert with Tammy but not sure), Cecilio and Kapono, Janet Jackson, Mariah Carey, Ka'au Crater Boys, Bob Marley, Hawaiian Style Band, etc..
She was an excellent conversationalist and was stimulated by intellectual discussions. She told me that she was attracted to brainiacs since she was secretly a geek in disguise. She loved to travel and got to go places like Europe, Tahiti, Philippines, all over the U.S., etc.. She practiced Bikram yoga and was extremely and healthy and fit. I remember I attempted to try it once in its 105+ degree temperature and could not comprehend how she could do it. She was dedicated and even had video tutorials in case she missed the classes. She had a competitive streak and we would have our own hybrid games like drinking Scrabble, quid pro quo, and other games involving a challenge.
Once our daughter came into our world, she was an instinctual mother and was dedicated to her upbringing. She always worried about the baby and every morning would wake up at 6 a.m. to be with her when Cevan woke up. No matter how ill she felt she would always want to get up and feed the baby, change her, and take care of her as her mother. She told me that I will be a wonderful father and to promise to always smother our daughter with love. Cheryl you would be so proud.. I am taking good care of our daughter and took her immediately to the pediatrician to transfer her medical records, make sure her immunizations were on track, requested to test to make sure she doesn’t have allergies, childproofed the house, spending so much quality time with her (reading her stories and playing), and plan on signing up for parenting classes to stimulate activities with other toddlers. Our daughter will be raised in your image and I pray that she becomes like her mother when she grows up.