Cherry Lynne Zielaskowski (Dr. Ski) peacefully passed on November 17, 2021 at 74 years. She was preceded in death by her father, Orville Zielaskowski; her mother, Alvira Berg; her sister, Faith (Larry) Lee; her first husband, Frank Fredrickson; and second husband James Burdine; and her grandchildren, Dakota Eric Chesney and Mackenzie Breanna Fredrickson. Cherry is survived by Tracy (David) Chesney; Frank (Cari) Fredrickson; Patrick (Gabriella Bova) Fredrickson; Maryt Fredrickson; her grandchildren, Christine Chesney and Sterling Fredrickson; her brother, Michael Zielaskowski; and her step-mother, Louise Zielaskowski.
Born April 8, 1947 into a military family on a naval base in Florida, Cherry would eventually live in Corvallis, OR. She married Frank Fredrickson in 1967 while attending Oregon State University where she studied Professional Teacher Education. Cherry continued the military life when Frank’s military career soon took them to Edwards Air Force Base, CA. While in California, Cherry served as an American Red Cross Emergency Trainer. She also served as the Family Services Emergency Chairman at both Edwards Air Force Base, CA and later at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, OH. In this role, Cherry assisted families in post-Vietnam War injury and death issues. The next military transfer took the family to Patrick Air Force Base in Florida (now known as Patrick Space Force Base). Cherry continued to serve as an American Red Cross Emergency Trainer in addition to being a Girl Scout Leader.
In 1978, another military transfer took the family to Virginia. At that time, Cherry got very ill and spent three months in Walter Reed National Military Medical Center where she was diagnosed with lupus and rheumatoid arthritis. Those life-long conditions never deterred Cherry from achieving high goals and serving her community as an inspiring teacher. In 1985, she graduated from George Mason University with a Bachelor’s degree in Middle School Education, with additional studies in Bilingual and Technology Education.
The final military transfer, in 1985, took the family to Kirtland Air Force Base in Albuquerque, NM. Cherry started teaching Math, Science, History, and Language Arts at Washington Middle School. She also initiated a Space Camp at the school for underprivileged youth. She was diagnosed with lymphoma in 1987 and won that battle with cancer. While still teaching full-time, in 1990 Cherry graduated from the University of New Mexico with a Master of Science in Science/Multilingual Education/Administration with a focus on Technology and Multilingual Integration. From 1989 to 1993, she also served as the Technology Consultant on the New Mexico Education Technology Board where she assisted in the design and instructional use of technology labs in the public and reservation schools. Still without taking a pause from teaching, in 1993 Cherry earned a PhD from Westbrook University. Her dissertation focused on the breakdown of family connections and the importance of intergenerational programs. After several decades of inspiring her students, Cherry retired from teaching for Albuquerque Public Schools in 2008. She went on to continue working as an educational consultant, implemented an Intergeneration Program at Fred Luna Senior Center in Los Lunas, NM, and volunteered as a tutor.
In 2016, Tracy brought Cherry to Queen Creek, AZ where Cherry was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s Disease. Her family would like to express its profound gratitude to A Caring Manor I. The owner and caregivers of A Caring Manor I were angels in disguise when they were needed the most. Their love and compassion with Cherry were a blessing every day and helped Cherry experience an environment of care and support in the final years of her life.
A Memorial Service will be held at 10 AM on Saturday, December 4, 2021 at San Tan Mountain View Funeral Home in Queen Creek, AZ. It was Cherry’s wish that guests should wear colors of joy and life during the service.
In memory of her wisdom, service to others, and gift of teaching, please consider an expression in Cherry’s memory with a donation to the Alzheimer’s Association at http://act.alz.org/goto/for_CherryZielaskowski