OBITUARY

Cleo H. Cherryholmes

December 28, 1938April 18, 2013

Cleo Harlan Cherryholmes Haslett, MI

Cleo Harlan Cherryholmes, 74, passed away peacefully in his home among family and friends on Thursday, April 18, 2013, after a long, courageous bout with cancer. He was preceded in death (2006) by his cherished wife Mary Alice (Kremer Conn), whose sparkle and warmth so enriched his life. He is survived by his beloved daughter Diana Cherryholmes, son Tim Cherryholmes, step-son Chris (Kristen) Conn, grandchildren Ayla Rose and Merrick Holmes Conn, sister Elenor Joy Lambing, and his extended Kremer family for whom he had great love and affection. In addition to his wife, Mary Alice, Cleo was preceded in death by his parents Harlan Lyall and Cecil (Milbourn) Cherryholmes, and sister Deloris Ella Mae (Cherryholmes) Kennedy.

Cleo was born December 28, 1938, in El Dorado, Kansas, and raised on the family farm near Latham, Kansas. After graduating from high school in El Dorado, Cleo received a scholarship to Yale where he earned his B.A. degree in 1960. He subsequently earned his M.S. degree from Kansas State Teachers College, Emporia, in 1963 and his Ph.D. degree from Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois, in 1966. In 2003 Cleo retired as Professor Emeritus from Michigan State University after thirty-seven years of teaching in both the Departments of Teacher Education and Political Science.

Cleo loved to debate, study, travel, listen to good music, and make his views on the national political landscape known to all who would listen. His passing will leave a hole in the heart of everyone who knew him.

The family will receive friends for a Memorial Service at Gorsline-Runciman Funeral Homes, 1730 East Grand River, East Lansing on Monday, April 22 at 4:00 pm with visitation beginning at 3:00 p.m. In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to Doctors Without Borders, 333 7th Avenue, 2nd Floor, New York, NY 10001-5004, Habitat for Humanity, 1941 Benjamin Drive, Lansing, MI 48906, or Capital Area Food Bank, P. O. Box 16224, Lansing, MI 48901 in memory of Cleo.

The family is being served by Gorsline Runciman Funeral Homes, East Lansing. On line condolences may be made at www.greastlansing.com.

Services

  • Visitation Monday, April 22, 2013
  • Memorial Service Monday, April 22, 2013
REMEMBERING

Cleo H. Cherryholmes

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Charlotte Koons

November 2, 2013

I met Cleo through his daughter, Diana. Of all his books, founding of institutions and teaching laurels, perhaps his greatest product is his daughter, Diana. She has brought the arts and humanities to our township as head of the Huntington Arts Council, and using her craft and sewing skills she has enriched the lives of many children. As my friend, she has brought a new sense of companionship and just plain fun! So, 'pragmatically' speaking, I honor Cleo in many ways!

Randy Michael Signor

October 30, 2013

I met Mr Cherryholmes at Lawrence High School when I was a student and he was a teacher; he also hosted the chess club and I joined precisely so I could beat him. It took several losses before I was able to do that. I know he was instrumental in development of games theory and I always felt lucky to have had him for a teacher.

David Cline

April 25, 2013

Thank you Cleo for the example you provided. Not only did I learn curriculum theory from you, but a method of teaching through questioning that was equal parts Socratic dialog and veiled wisdom from the Zen master. You will be missed.

Gary Gibson

April 23, 2013

I have known Cleo since high school. We were closest in the later years, when we became political advisories, but always close friends. He came to the big Eldorado High School (Kansas) from one of the small rural schools. Did you know he was a cross country runner in his younger days. Cleo, we will miss you.

David Labaree

April 22, 2013

When I arrived at the Michigan State University College of Education in 1985, Cleo Cherryholmes was already an institution. Formally housed in political science, he had long focused his writing and teaching around issues in education and was well known to faculty and students there. We quickly became best of friends. Before long a deal was struck that brought him home to the college of ed riding on the reputation of his recently published book, Power and Criticism. There, while writing his other major work, Reading Pragmatism, he gleefully played the role of provocateur – challenging the most revered canons of the educational creed, and pushing theoretical exploration and intellectual play in a professional-school setting where theory was suspect and where the pursuit of educational improvement brought a tone of sobriety. He started a faculty-student study group that lasted for years, exploring a wide range of theoretical works, which more often than not revolved around his own twin intellectual poles of poststructuralism and pragmatism. It provided a great education for me, deluded as I was by my training in the positivist ethos of sociology. Not that he necessarily has won me over completely. But that never bothers Cleo, who would much rather engage in argument than win a convert. His impact on colleagues and students was less a matter of convincing them of his point than of modeling how to think theoretically about school and society.
But to focus on his engagement with ideas is to miss a lot of what has made Cleo such a wonderful colleague and friend, because he has always stirred the engaging talk into a rich stew of food, wine, and music. Cleo is an remarkably talented cook, and he knows you can't cook well without the help of good wine and music. My strongest memories of our time together take place at dinner in lovely settings: his home, where no meal was a success unless he set off the smoke alarm; the terrace of our villa in Provence, where we were both teaching in an MSU summer program; a patio overlooking the ocean in Cabo, the beach at Playa del Carmen, a cruise ship in the Greek Islands. These experiences serve as a reminder about the compelling possibilities of the academic life, which too often get lost in the earnest pursuit of journeyman publication and university politics.

David Labaree

April 22, 2013

David Labaree

April 22, 2013

David Labaree

April 22, 2013

When I arrived at the Michigan State University College of Education in 1985, Cleo Cherryholmes was already an institution. Formally housed in political science, he had long focused his writing and teaching around issues in education and was well known to faculty and students there. We quickly became best of friends. Before long a deal was struck that brought him home to the college of ed riding on the reputation of his recently published book, Power and Criticism. There, while writing his other major work, Reading Pragmatism, he gleefully played the role of provocateur – challenging the most revered canons of the educational creed, and pushing theoretical exploration and intellectual play in a professional-school setting where theory was suspect and where the pursuit of educational improvement brought a tone of sobriety. He started a faculty-student study group that lasted for years, exploring a wide range of theoretical works, which more often than not revolved around his own twin intellectual poles of poststructuralism and pragmatism. It provided a great education for me, deluded as I was by my training in the positivist ethos of sociology. Not that he necessarily has won me over completely. But that never bothers Cleo, who would much rather engage in argument than win a convert. His impact on colleagues and students was less a matter of convincing them of his point than of modeling how to think theoretically about school and society.
But to focus on his engagement with ideas is to miss a lot of what has made Cleo such a wonderful colleague and friend, because he has always stirred the engaging talk into a rich stew of food, wine, and music. Cleo is an remarkably talented cook, and he knows you can't cook well without the help of good wine and music. My strongest memories of our time together take place at dinner in lovely settings: his home, where no meal was a success unless he set off the smoke alarm; the terrace of our villa in Provence, where we were both teaching in an MSU summer program; a patio overlooking the ocean in Cabo, the beach at Playa del Carmen, a cruise ship in the Greek Islands. These experiences serve as a reminder about the compelling possibilities of the academic life, which too often get lost in the earnest pursuit of journeyman publication and university politics.

Matthew Koehler

April 22, 2013

I came to know Cleo in 2001 when I joined the faculty at Michigan State University. I only had a chance to interact with him a few short years before he retired. He was a "student" in my course designed to help faculty learn to teach online. Cleo was joy to interact with - quick of wit, staunch defender of pragmatism, and real sense of humor. I really learned a lot from him in those 2 years, and I thank him so much for everything he taught me.

Charlotte Koons

April 22, 2013

Though I met him only briefly, I so enjoyed Cleo's massive intellect and political insights. His gentle nature and love of family were beacons of light in a sometimes dark world!