Cheryl A. Cummings, 56, of Little Silver, formerly of Freehold, passed away peacefully on Wednesday, Oct. 28, at Riverview Medical Center after a brief illness.
Hundreds of mourners gathered at John E. Day Funeral Home in Red Bank on Oct. 31 to say goodbye to Cummings, a treasured friend, noted teacher, arts supporter and enthusiast and devoted mother and grandmother. Friends and colleagues repeatedly remarked how much Cummings had touched thousands of lives.
Cummings received her undergraduate degree from Rutgers University and her master’s degree from Monmouth University.
She recently retired from Brookdale Community College after 28 years as a communications professor and the executive director for the Brookdale Network.
Post retirement she embarked on a new career and completed culinary school at Brookdale and started her own pastry chef business called Cher Bread in Little Silver.
An avid supporter of Monmouth Arts, Cummings served on the strategic planning committee, the development committee of the MoCo Arts/Business Partnership and was instrumental in the Monmouth County Teen Arts Festival.
Cummings was involved with Monmouth Arts as the head of 90.5 The Night and then the Brookdale Network even before she became a board member. As a board member for almost nine years she was instrumental in developing the strategic direction of Monmouth Arts. She used her marketing and leadership skills to further the impact of Monmouth Arts and to benefit the entire arts community. “Cheryl was the rare leader who saw the big picture and could deal with all the details,” said Mary Eileen Fouratt, executive director, Monmouth Arts. “She led by example and made you want to be better person. We will miss her tremendously but will endeavor to live up to her ideals.”
Eileen Moon of Atlantic Highlands said she and Cummings were professional colleagues who shared many associations and interests over the past two decades. “Cheryl was a warm, friendly, competent colleague who shared my love of music and the arts,” she said. “It was great to see her thrive in her second career as a pastry chef and delight in being a new grandmother. I think Cheryl would want us to remember to cherish every day and to value every relationship as I know she did.”
“Cheryl was a friend and mentor to so many people in the Two River area and throughout Monmouth County,” said Laura Kirkpatrick, director of Public Information and Tourism, Monmouth County. “Cheryl had a passion for life, friends and family. I am blessed to have crossed paths with her and shared personal and professional experiences. She was an avid student of communications; always helping her friends and students connect with each other to improve their lives and find their passions.”
Cummings also served as an advisory board member of the Friends of Monmouth County Child Advocacy Center.
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