"Leonard Cheek" by Troy H. Cheek on Aug 10, 2009
Leonard Cheek, 90, of Reliance, died Friday, August 7, 2009, at McMinn Memorial Nursing Home in Etowah, Tennessee.
A native and resident of Polk County most of his life, he was a son of the late John Henry Harrison and Lois Bates Cheek. He was also preceded in death by his first wife, Bonnie Kate Curton Cheek; brothers: Emerson, Burch, Bascom, Rassie, and Lawrence Cheek; and sisters: Belle Woody and Kathleen Huffman.
He was a veteran of the U.S. Army serving during World War II and was retired from TVA.
He was a member of Hiwassee Union Baptist Church.
Survivors include his wife, Artis Sneed of Reliance; one daughter and son-in-law, Daneen and Eddie Newkirk of Brentwood; one son and daughter-in-law, Howard and Midge Cheek of Benton; one stepson, Tommy Shipley of Chattanooga; five grandchildren: Troy, Tracy, and Tony Cheek; and Dustin and Brett Newkirk; two great-grandchildren: Austin and Eddie Cheek; and one stepgranddaughter, Angie Crumbley; and several nieces and nephews.
The funeral was held at 2 p.m. on August 9, 2009, at Hiwassee Union Baptist Church with the Reverend Benny Thomas officiating. Internment followed at Reliance Cemetary. Pallbearer duties were performed by Leonard's five grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.
Bordwine Funeral Home of Etowah was in charge of arrangements. If you were unable to attend, you may sign the guest registry at bordwinefuneralhome.com
That's pretty much the official obituary with just a couple of minor corrections.
Leonard maintained pretty much his entire life that he had no middle name. His family was too poor to afford middle names back when he was born, or so he liked to tell us. Alternately, I've seen his name written as Leonard A. Cheek, Leonard A Cheek, Leonard None Cheek, and (my favorite) Leonard No Middle Cheek. These all came to be because the U.S. Army had no regulations regarding how to keep records on someone with no middle name and so clerks just made something up, or so he liked to tell us.
Because his son, Leonard Howard Cheek, shared most of his name, said son came to be called Howard by most people, except those who didn't know his father. His grandson, Troy Howard Cheek, shared most of his father's name, so he came to be called Troy, except that he kept encountering people who didn't know his father, so they started calling him Howard because it's just a prettier name. So, depending on who's talking to whom and who knows whom, the names Leonard and Howard can each refer to two different people.
The only other thing of interest to note is that it was too far from Hiwassee Baptist Church to Reliance Cemetary for the pallbearers to carry Leonard, so Bordwine Funeral Home provided transportation. Well, they provided it for Leonard. The pallbearers had to make do on their own, which is why this solemn and sincere occasion featured six pallbearers riding in the bed of a pickup truck through a cemetary.
I like to think that Leonard would have wanted it that way.