January 16, 1951 – May 29, 2019
CASSOPOLIS, MI — Mrs. Cheryl Francine Dittmer, 68, of Sail Bay Drive, Cassopolis, MI passed away in her home, surrounded by family, on Wednesday, May 29, 2019. Cheryl was born January 16, 1951 to Joseph and Amaryllis Jean (Malchow) Tagliaferri in Mishawaka, IN, both of whom preceded her in death.
Cheryl was the eldest of seven Tagliaferri children: Lisa (Brian) Lares of Granger, Jo Ann Truette, Daniel Tagliaferri, and Mark (Kim) Tagliaferri, all of Mishawaka, Matthew Tagliaferri of Cassopolis, and Patrick Tagliaferri who preceded her in death.
Cheryl attended St. Joseph’s Grade School and was a member of the 1969 graduating class of Mishawaka High School; she enjoyed regular gatherings with her classmates throughout her retirement. Following high school she attended Indiana University, Bloomington from which she graduated with a BS in Elementary Education. She later completed her Master’s in Education.
Cheryl is survived by her son Matheau Luers and her daughter Erin Carrico. Matheau resides in Indianapolis with his wife, Anna, and their children Ruth and Andrew. Erin resides in Highlands Ranch, CO with her husband Corey and their children Mitchell and Jillian. Cheryl was an incredible mother who gave freely of herself so that her children could take advantage of every opportunity. She was doting yet firm, and demonstrated to her children how to love unconditionally.
Cheryl will be lovingly remembered by her husband of almost 20 years, Lynn Dittmer, as a selflessly devoted wife who in retirement was focused on making their lake house into a welcoming home. Married on January 15, 2000 in South Bend, their many summer gatherings over the years fostered an inviting setting for family and friends to come together and make lasting memories. Lynn has two children, Marc (Amanda) Dittmer of Nuevo Vallarta, MX and Megan (James) Duncan of Westfield. Their lives have been enriched by grandchildren Ethan, Aaron, Drew, Graham, and Clay. They often enjoyed watching their grandchildren play in the sand at the lake and took frequent boat rides together.
In 1984 Cheryl commenced a 28-year teaching career with Penn-Harris-Madison School Corporation. She first taught at Walt Disney Elementary School before transferring to Schmucker Middle School where she passionately taught Language Arts and Social Studies until her retirement in 2013. She was known as a tough yet loving teacher and positively impacted thousands of young lives. Cheryl was a dedicated teacher both in and out of the classroom, always searching for a life lesson to be learned, and encouraging resourcefulness, problem solving, and critical thinking.
Cheryl’s life was abundantly rich in personal relationships with many close high school friends as well as coworkers whom she adored. She loved to visit casinos and vacationed in Las Vegas with her husband multiple times per year. Cheryl excelled in creative hobbies such as baking, quilting, calligraphy, and playing piano, and the final weeks of her illness were spent teaching herself how to crochet. She’ll long be remembered for her generous spirit and willingness to go above and beyond to help whenever needed; just say the word and she was there. Her infectious laugh easily filled the room and will be greatly missed.
The family would like to thank the highly-skilled and compassionate staff at Michiana Hematology Oncology as well as Caring Circle hospice for their outstanding care. A celebration of life honoring Cheryl will be held at McGann Hay Granger Chapel, 13260 State Road 23, Granger, IN 46530 on Monday, June 10. Gourmet coffee will be served from 4 pm to 6 pm courtesy of American Espresso Catering Company followed by a memorial service from 6 pm to 7 pm.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Hospice at Home by calling 1-800-717-3811 before 5 pm EST M-F or via personal check mailed to 4025 Health Park Lane, Saint Joseph, MI 49085.