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Cheryl Danowski

July 27, 2021


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Cheryl Danowski

July 27, 2021


Cheryl Danowski, formerly of Wilkes-Barre passed away on July 27th surrounded by her family after a 10-year battle with Alzheimer’s Disease.


She was born in Wilkes-Barre and was the first daughter of the late Harry and Josephine Ashford.  Being the first daughter of three was a challenge but Cheryl was a second mom to her younger sisters, Diane and Joanne.  Cheryl, Diane and Joanne went on to become dinner buddies, shopping partners, and the best friends in the world.


She graduated from Meyers High School in 1971.  She was smart as a whip and that is a trait she held onto her entire life.


Shortly after graduating, she started her career as a legal secretary.  She worked in that field in a few area law firms up to her retirement in 2012 from Distasio and Kowalski, LLC.  Her supervisors and coworkers can attest to her professionalism, hard work and no-nonsense attitude.


She met the love of her life, Mike, at The Villa.  Mike said the first time he met her, he looked at her and said he was going to marry her.  They did in 1976. Although they separated years later, they knew they were meant to be and 30 years later fell in love again.  This is a love story for the ages.


Cheryl’s other loves of her life were her children, Diane and Sheila.  She did absolutely everything for her kids and they will say they won the lottery having Cheryl as their mother.  She loved her girls and they loved her. From the time she was a single mom, her kids always came foremost, and she always believed that.  A stern mother, she knew the tricks her girls would pull, and always kept them in line.   She treasured her kids and embraced every moment with them.  She was the go-to person and always made things better for her kids, no matter how big or small.  Her girls will say they became who they are because of their mom.   There was always fun in the Danowski girls’ house.  Her girls can go on and on with stories about their mom. The quote from Abraham Lincoln rings true, “All that I am or ever hope to be, I owe to my angel mother”.


Cheryl had many hobbies and interests before Alzheimer’s took over.  A devout Catholic, she was a member of St. Aloysious church. Cheryl was always in the kitchen whipping up some goodies.  An amazing cook, her family will miss her legendary macaroni salad.  Plus, she always had some yummy dessert on the stove “just because”.  Her garden was always the envy of the neighborhood, and she took much pride in it.  Travel was always high on Cheryl’s list, and she was able to go to fun, faraway places with her daughters, family and her friends.  Right now, we picture her on a sandy beach with her toes in the sand and a strawberry daquiri in her hand.


Although the years were cut short on Cheryl’s life, she brought a smile to everyone that met her. When people think of Cheryl, the word kind will be mentioned over and over.  She did kind things for people not because of who they are or what they can do in return, but because of who she was.  So, in her memory, smile at someone, be patient with someone who is confused, or if you are like Cheryl, share a coupon with someone in the grocery store.  All who loved her dearly and will never forget her tenacity, wit, charm, grace (when pertinent) and undying love and caring for them.


A special thank you to all the amazing caregivers who helped Cheryl on her journey these last few years including family, friends, and caregivers (especially Debbie, her ice cream and shopping buddy).


She is survived by her husband, Mike; daughters, Diane Shaffer and husband Derek, and Sheila Bunk; grandchildren Grace and Madeline Shaffer and Cassie and Harrison Bunk; sisters, Diane Kelly and husband Joe, Joanne Bayer and husband Rick; nieces Tara Bryk, Colleen Kelly, Briana Bayer and nephew Eric Bayer, dear friend, Paulette, plus everyone else in the world who were lucky enough to meet her.


A celebration of this amazing life will begin on Friday with a visitation from 4 – 7 pm at the Nat & Gawlas Funeral Home, 89 Park Avenue, Wilkes-Barre and will continue with funeral services on Saturday at 9:30 am from the funeral home. A Mass of Christian Burial will follow at 10 am in St. Robert Bellarmine Parish at St. Aloysius Church, Barney and Division Streets, Wilkes-Barre.


Interment will be in St. Mary’s Cemetery, Hanover Township.


In lieu of flowers, Cheryl would want you to donate to the Alzheimer’s Association or the SPCA of Luzerne County.


Condolences may be sent by visiting Cheryl’s obituary at www.natandgawlas.com.