By Lori Bredemeyer, Managing Editor
‘She lived, loved and laughed.’
Friends continually used these three words to describe Cheryl Denise Halbert at a celebration of her life Monday in Moody Coliseum.
Cheryl was killed Aug. 14 when her car hit a tree in Mason County while she was driving to San Antonio. She was 20.
At the beginning of the ceremony, members of Cheryl”s social club, Sigma Theta Chi, placed yellow roses symbolizing friendship, joy and happiness in a vase near the stage as the assembly sang ‘The Greatest Commands.’
People close to her shared memories and scripture that personified her life. Chris Meeks, Cheryl”s boyfriend and junior accounting major from Rockwall, read from Philippians and Proverbs, and Dr. Wayne Barnard, dean of Campus Life, spoke of how Cheryl influenced people across the world, including places like Haiti and Oxford, England.
‘It”s so obvious that Cheryl”s life has touched many, many people,’ he said. ‘It”s clear Cheryl is a person who loves Jesus more than any other, who loves her family dearly and who loves children, and who loves to tell the story of Jesus to others.’
Dr. Jeanene Reese, assistant professor of Bible, ministry and missions, who knew Cheryl growing up, said in class she had ‘eyes sparking and smile bright,’ and she was always ’embracing life and loving big.’ Reese said three things come to mind when thinking of Cheryl: her curiosity, adventurous spirit and humor.
‘That is how Cheryl Denise Halbert lived–curious, daring and hilarious. She lived and she loved.’
Rosalyn Perry, president of Sigma Theta Chi and junior interdisciplinary studies major from Abilene, shared the of some of the club members who knew Cheryl well. One Siggie said she always admired how much Cheryl loved everyone she came in contact with.
‘Anytime she went anywhere and met new people, she loved them. Even people she didn”t really like, she still loved them. … She would say things like, “Bless her heart, I knew she doesn”t mean to be like that.”
‘I don”t understand how she did it, but she was real. You could not not love Cheryl. Cheryl loves and inspires love back.’
Cheryl”s roommates, juniors Angela Meyer and Andrea Schweikhard, spoke of living together and studying abroad together in Oxford, England, last spring.
‘I miss Cheryl so much,’ Meyer said, ‘but I am so thankful for the things that left an impression on me and the things I loved about her.’
Schweikhard said Cheryl really ‘understood what it meant to be a friend.’
‘You can only be as strong as your support,’ she said, ‘and Cheryl was one of the legs I stood on.’