Cheryl Joy Petitto, 76, of Cement City, Mich., passed away Tuesday, July 11, 2017 at home from complications of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).
Cheryl was born in Detroit, Mich., April 14, 1941, daughter of Joan Ozimkowski Wowk. Her childhood was spent in Dearborn and she graduated from St. Alphonsus High School in Detroit. She earned her registered nursing degree at the Providence School of Nursing and was an Ob-Gyn nurse at Hutzel Women’s Hospital providing compassionate care for women and children.
Cheryl married John Petitto on June 18, 1966. She subsequently moved with John to Cement City for his job in Jackson. As was customary at the time, she gave up her nursing career to have a family. Cheryl and John started their family and shortly thereafter, opened Town & Country Sports Center first selling boats, later expanding to selling motorcycles.
Cheryl was a loving mother, balancing time with her family and working diligently to build a new business with her husband. A dedicated wife, she was a partner and companion to John in every sense of the word. Feisty and energetic, Cheryl and John worked side by side to build a family and business. Critical to the success and growth of the business, she worked for more than 35 years in all capacities in the business.
Following her move to Cement City, she became an active member of the community, embracing the country life. Cheryl cultivated a lush garden that provided a bounty of vegetables to be canned and frozen for the long winter months. When her oldest son was ready to go to preschool and there wasn’t a nearby option, Cheryl helped start Inter-lakes Co-op Pre-School in Liberty (which has since moved to Addison).
As her children grew, Cheryl and John had the opportunity to travel the world with their children, sharing experiences and building lasting memories. She was a supportive mother and grandmother, attending numerous school and sports functions over the years. Cheryl was dedicated to and generous with family and friends. She was a voracious reader; a smart and insightful woman, entertaining with her dry and quick wit.
Cheryl was preceded in death by her son, Johnny, mother, Joan Wowk, and sister, Linda Kropf. She is survived by John, her husband of 51 years, daughter, Joanne (Gregory Ritts) of Luxembourg, son, Thomas (Kelly) of Clarklake, Mich., grandchildren, Ethan and Paityn Petitto, step-grandchildren, Coleman and Grayson Ritts, sisters, Mary Ozimkowski (Elizabeth Hasten) of Evergreen, Colorado and Teri (George) Empey of Cedarville, Mich., and numerous nephews and nieces and friends.
There will not be a funeral. A celebration of life is planned at the Artesian Wells Sports Tavern Sunday, July 23, 2017 from 2-5 p.m.
In lieu of flowers, memorials can be made to Shriner’s Hospital or Hospice of Lenawee.