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Cheryl L. Major, 57

Cheryl Lee Major, age 57, of Buffalo, died Monday, Jan. 31, 2011, as the result of an automobile accident.

She was born May 8, 1953, in Cokato, the daughter of Elroy and Audrey (Ganz) Tuchtenhagen. Cheryl was baptized June 28, 1953, at St. James Lutheran Church in Howard Lake by the Rev. Theo Melinat; and confirmed in her faith April 7, 1968, at the same church by the Rev. G. C. Michael.

Cheryl was married to Donald Henke Dec. 23, 1968, at Sisseton, SD, becoming his wife and the mother of his two children. This marriage was blessed with three more daughters.

Cheryl spent the last 15 years of her life with life companion Kent.

She was employed for 25 years at the Toro Company in the quality control department.

Spending time on yard care and being part of the Elvis Fan Club were some of her favorite pastimes. Going on a trip to Graceland, and collecting Elvis memorabilia were highlights of her fan club activities.

Being with her family and grandchildren were very important to Cheryl. She was happy and content with a simple, practical life.

She was preceded in death by her mother, Audrey Gunderson; father Elroy Tuchtenhagen; a brother, David Tuchtenhagen; and a sister, Maryetta Sale.

Cheryl is survived by her children, Julie Naylor of Hastings, Ron Henke, Bonnie Gesinger, both of Buffalo, Jennifer Shaw, and Jessica Merten, both of Maple Lake; grandchildren Cassidy and Tanya Naylor, Dustin Henke, Brandon and Kimberly Gesinger, Rylee Shaw, Olivia and Hayden Merten; her life companion, Kent; nieces; nephews; and a host of other relatives and friends.

The funeral service took place Monday, Feb. 7 at 2 p.m. at St. James Lutheran Church in Howard Lake, with the Revs. Michael Nirva and Martin Schoenfeld officiating. Nancy Butterfass served as the organist.

Visitation was Sunday, Feb. 6 from noon to 5 p.m. at Swanson-Peterson Funeral Home in Howard Lake, with a prayer service at 3:30 p.m.

Pallbearers were Cheryl’s grandchildren: Cassidy Naylor, Tanya Naylor, Brandon Gesinger, Kimberly Gesinger, Rylee Shaw, Olivia Merten, and Kayden Merten. Honorary pallbearer was grandson Dustin Henke.

Arrangements were by the Swanson-Peterson Funeral Home of Howard Lake.