Michael Cheney, age 50, died suddenly of a massive stroke on Friday, November 2, 2007 at VGH surrounded by family members. Michael will be sadly missed by his loving wife Audrey of 29 years (nee Cartmell), his sons Tom (age 22) and Andy (age 13), as well as his parents Preston and Evelyn of Turner, Oregon, and brothers David, Donald (Gretchen) and Mark (Ruth) and their families. He is also survived by his mother-in-law Doris Cartmell, sister-in-law Joan Friesen (Art), brother-in-law Ron Cartmell (Toni) and their families. He was predeceased by his daughter Anna Christina and his father-in-law Leonard Cartmell.
Mike was born in Inglewood California and spent his childhood in the San Diego area, graduating from Julian High School where his father taught his classes in sciences and math.
Mike and Audrey met at Western Washington University and were married after graduation. Over the years he enjoyed studying philosophy, languages, theology and Hebrew Scriptures. After receiving his BA in philosophy, he continued his studies at Regent College in Vancouver receiving his Master of Divinity and Master of Theology. Mike loved the Hebrew scriptures and was accepted to the Teologiska Institution at Lunds University to begin doctoral studies under Dr. Tryggve Mettinger in 1987. The Cheneys, with their young son, Tom spent five years in southern Sweden and had many opportunities to travel together.
Mike received his PhD completing his dissertation on a literary analysis of the book of Job. As an academic, he taught theology and religious studies at King’s University College (Edmonton), University of Alberta, Athabasca University and St. Stephen’s College. Over the years, Mike loved learning and teaching and was well-respected by his students and colleagues. When the Cheneys moved to the Queen Charlottes, Mike was thrilled to be able to combine his academic pursuits through distance education with his interests in botany and the environment.
Mike has lived with his family in the Masset area on the Queen Charlotte Islands for the last 10 years, where he home schooled Tom and Andy. As he completed their home, he located fallen trees and carefully cut and finished the lumber for the renovations. In recent years his love of nature led to his extensive study of botany and local plant species. He was thrilled when he identified a new plant species and enjoyed traveling to the beautiful remote areas of the island. Mike has worked for the NorthWest Invasive Plant Council as well as completed contract work for the Ministry of Environment and Parks Canada. Mike shared his interests with Tom and Andy who enjoyed working and learning from their father on many of these projects. His boys were his joy!
Mike was well known and loved by his community and a Service of Remembrance will be held in Masset at a later date. He will be missed by the many students whom he has taught, mentored and befriended over the years, the many colleagues that he worked with, and especially his friends and family. Mike’s faith in God was so evident in his life—his generosity, open-mindedness and kindness to so many will always be remembered. Mike was known for his strong ethical stand and Christian principles. Over the years Mike has ministered to many congregations and students. We are comforted that Mike lived his life so fully—he accomplished more in his 50 years than most people will in a lifetime —we are assured that he is with his Heavenly Father now.
The family would like to thank the medical staff and paramedics in Masset and Vancouver for their compassionate care of Mike. In lieu of flowers, you may wish to support one of the three interests that Mike pursued throughout his life: Christian agencies that focus on social justice; higher education and the environment or plant a tree for Mike!
A Service of Remembrance will be held on Wednesday, November 7, 2007 at 1 pm at The Salvation Army Community Church, 46420 Brooks Ave, Chilliwack, BC.