Cheryle Bechtold

April 2, 1966 - August 24, 2016
Grand Rapids, MI



Tuesday, August 30, 2016
10:00 AM to 11:00 AM EDT
Holy Spirit Catholic Church
2239 Lake Michigan Drive NW
Grand Rapids, MI 49504
(616) 453-6369


Tuesday, August 30, 2016
11:00 AM EDT
Holy Spirit Catholic Church
2239 Lake Michigan Drive NW
Grand Rapids, MI 49504
(616) 453-6369


At the family's request memorial contributions are to be made to those listed below. Please forward payment directly to the memorial of your choice.

Network 180
790 Fuller Ave NE
Grand Rapids, MI 49503
(616) 336-3909
Web Site

Life Story / Obituary


If there was one thing that made Cheryle Bechtold truly happy, it was the joy and love she felt for her daughter and precious granddaughter. Although Cheryle had her share of struggles in life, she forged on with the lasting love she held so deeply for them. Now gone much too soon from love’s embrace, the memory of Cheryle will live on in the hearts of those who knew her best.

Cheryle’s story began in the midst of quite a turning point in the U.S. By 1966, nearly 500,000 American troops were fighting in the jungles of Vietnam while the war itself and numerous anti-war demonstrations and peace rallies being held all over the nation made daily headlines. It was also the year Batman and Star Trek made their television debuts while color TV sets were gaining more and more popularity. A time of Hot Wheels and Twister, the infamous mini-skirt and vinyl wardrobes were the cool thing to wear, and the introduction of Pampers disposable diapers brought welcome relief to mothers everywhere. This was especially true for Robert and Jeanette (Schafer) Bechtold when on April 2, 1966, they welcomed the birth of their daughter, Cheryle Elizabeth.

Born in Traverse City, Michigan, Cheryle was one of six children and grew up in Grand Rapids, Michigan on the city’s northwest side. A family devout to their Catholic faith, the Bechtold family were members of St. James Catholic Church where Cheryle received the sacraments of her First Holy Communion, Confirmation, and Reconciliation. Although later in life she became a member of Holy Spirit Catholic Church, Cheryle also went to school at St. James Elementary before attending Shawmut Hills where she played on the baseball team. In the early years, Cheryle took piano lessons and throughout her childhood she enjoyed riding her bike, playing with neighborhood friends and baking. While attending Union High School, Cheryle participated in the school band, having played the alto and tenor saxophone. She later went on to earn her GED. She also enjoyed time spent with her grandmother, Gertrude Bechtold.

Cheryle found her greatest joy when her daughter, Emily Annette was born in 1990. A delightful blessing in her life, Cheryle, along with the never ending help from her mother, doted on and loved Emily unconditionally. Cheryle wasn't able to work much, although she did for a time with her mother at the Grand Rapids Press as well as several other places such as KMart and Best Buy. Cheryle gave of her time and talents through the Peace Program at St. Mary's Church, and for fundraisers at St. James Home and School where she made lasting friendships. Cheryle did her best raising Emily and had hopes and dreams for her. When her granddaughter, Ava Mae came along, Cheryle could not have been more proud. She and her daughter were the best of friends and they did nearly everything together, including raising little Ava.

Through the years, Cheryle kept herself busy enjoying crafts of all sorts. She liked working on latch-hook rugs, painting, drawing, and coloring with Ava. She was never one for watching TV, but she did like listening to country music from all eras. In later years, she enjoyed computer games and going to the casino or playing bingo at Westgate, looking for a little luck now and then. She also loved her furry animals, and since she was a child she enjoyed having fish to look after.

Cheryle took the death of her father quite hard and she never seemed the same. When her father retired in the 1990s she spent time with him fishing and boating while at the family residence at Pickerel Lake, and she knew just how to maneuver their pontoon boat each time it got suck in the weeds. There Cheryle enjoyed grilling good meals for him in addition to herself and Emily. When her father's illnesses required more care, Cheryle stepped up and lovingly tended to him. She also held fond memories of times spent together as a family camping at Pickerel Lake Campground, and as always, she clung to her love of family. Having been on disability for most of her life, Cheryle suffered many highs and lows. Over the last few years, several illnesses affected her greatly. Sadly, Cheryle died quite suddenly and unexpectedly. May the love Cheryle felt for her daughter and granddaughter truly be her lasting legacy as she is deeply missed and remembered.

Cheryle E. Bechtold, aged 50, born in Traverse City and a longtime resident of Grand Rapids died on Wednesday, August 24, 2016.

Jesus came to me and said now I am ready for you. It is time for you to be joined with your father, Robert Bechtold, and grandparents. The gates of Heaven will be open. Present her now to God Most High.

Cheryle leaves behind her beautiful and loving daughter, Emily Bechtold; precious little granddaughter, Ava Mae Bechtold; her loving mother, Janette M. Bechtold; and siblings, Valerie (Alexander) Van Vianen, Michael Bechtold, Marjorie Cherneski, Raymond Bechtold, and David Page. Also surviving are nieces, nephews, and close friends, Marian Main, Sharon Zils, Russ Hogan, and Rev. Bill Langlois.

A Celebration of Life Service will be held at 11:00 AM on Tuesday, August 30, 2016, at Holy Spirit Church, 2230 Lake Michigan Dr. N.W. Family and friends will gather at the church from 10:00 AM until the time of her Memorial Mass. Contributions in Cheryle’s memory may be made to Network 180. Please visit www.lifestorynet.com to share a favorite memory or photo of Cheryle and to sign her online guestbook.