Cheryl Joy (Webber) Gemborys of Southport died at Winship Green Nursing Center in Bath, Maine on Saturday, Nov. 10, 2012 after a long series of medical issues that weakened her heart. She was the daughter of Bradbury Webber and Edith (Fowler) Webber of Wayland, Mass. Cheryl was born on August 30, 1949 in Greenville, S.C.
Growing up she spent summers at her grandparents Juniper Point house and at various rental properties throughout the Boothbay Harbor and Southport region. She did volunteer work at the Aquarium next to the Coast Guard Station, feeding the seals. Her grandparents bought the house that was her Southport home for the past 11 years in 1957.
During her graduation from Mt. Wachusett Community College in Gardner, Mass., in 1982, she was awarded High Honors and inducted into the Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society. She was also the recipient of the Dean’s Key. In 1986 she got her degree from Smith in Northampton, Mass., while in the Ada Comstock Scholars Program. Next came a Masters in Education Program at the Graduate School of Education, University of Massachusetts in Amherst, Mass. She became a Chapter 1 Teacher in Deerfield and Colrain, Mass.
Shortly after her grandmother died, she was drawn into the philanthropy efforts of her grandparents F. Roscoe and Vila Webber Charitable Trust, first as a consultant and then as trustee of her grandparents estate for both Hale and Dorr and Silver Bridge Investment Advisors in Boston, Mass. Cheryl’s Grandfather, F. Roscoe Webber III, born in Bangor, Maine, was a timber baron in the first half of the 20th century. It was Cheryl’s job to locate non-profit organizations that needed funds to continue providing their services to Mainers.
Locally, she oversaw funding grants to: the Southport Library, Southport School, Southport Historical Society, the YMCA, the BBHS Scholarship Fund, the Burnt Island Lighthouse Education Program, Classroom at Sea. Off the peninsula, she assisted some not so well known organizations, such as Freedom Riders in Warren, Maine that provide Equine Assisted Therapy Programs for children and adults with special needs, the Sisters of Transfiguration Hermitage in Windsor, Maine who needed a Reflecting Bench, the Lincoln County Animal Shelter who got a much needed new addition and Marine Animal Lifeline where Cheryl was a Marine Animal Condition Evaluation Field Supervisor.
She never forgot her Alma mater, Smith College, and supported the Ada Comstock Scholarship Fund.
She was a computer geek and in supervisory positions for the World Community Forum in CompuServe and Active Worlds. She was a (SYSOP) Systems Operator for the former and (ETL) Executive Team Leader and (HRS) Human Relations Director for the latter. When not in a professional capacity on her computer, she relaxed by constructing three dimensional architectural graphics with animation. She attended many conferences working for both companies in many states and received many highly coveted awards for her people and supervisory skills. She hosted a gathering and clambake for a group of her international computer friends and also computer friends from many states who had never been to Maine. She gave them a tour of the Boothbay region from her Bayliner, LAZ-Z-DAZE 2. Cheryl was an expert navigator, having taken courses at the Maine Maritime Museum. She was a member of the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary Flotilla 25 Station Boothbay Harbor, Maine.
Cheryl’s favorite holiday was Christmas. She always bought the newest decorations every holiday season. She collected handmade Nutcrackers from Germany and Charming Tails Figurines in Christmas/Winter scenes.Her favorite thing about Christmas, however, was being invited into her busy children’s New England homes to just visit, catch up on everyone’s news and to share a meal together. She treasured these times the most. One very special Christmas was spent with her youngest Son,Matty and his wife Michele in Santa Rosa, Calif.
When not at her computer or on the water, she loved music and playing her grandfather’s Steinway Baby Grand piano. Her other interests included her Cocker Spaniels, one of which was a dog show winner many times. She belonged to the Cocker Spaniel Rescue Network and her Southport home was one of the network rescue sites. Her beloved Buff Cocker Becket was her companion for 15 years. She also had many parrots who eventually took over the dining room but she really didn’t mind. Cheryl was a patron and supporter of many animal rights groups.
Being a victim of abuse herself, she was an advocate for and supporter of laws that empowered women to stand on their own. She helped many women to leave abusive relationships and to return to their education to attain goals put aside and gain independence with a career of their choice. She helped and counseled many women in her roles as both Christian Reverend and Wiccan High Priestess. She was also a Maine Notary Public.
Cheryl enjoyed talking about her children’s many professional success stories with a glowing pride. That same attitude was evident when relating what her grandchildren were up to and when a great-granddaughter was born. Over the past two years she was learning a new skill, taking up knitting. She was also becoming involved in Warming Spaces at the Southport Town Hall.
Cheryl leaves her husband of 25 years, Paul B. Gemborys, three children: Katheryne S.C. Lane of E.Lebanon, ME, RN, MSN,-NP Head of Adult Intergrated Medicine at York Hospital in York, Maine, Eric A. Gemborys of Barre, Mass., BS (MCAIRICA) MA and RI certified Arborist, (ISA)Utility Specialist for the International Society of Arbori Culture and (SFS) Senior Forestry Supervisor for National Grid (Central MA Region) and Matthew B. Gemborys, currently stationed in MS (CW02) Chief Warrant Officer 2 United Stated Coast Guard, (C4ISR) Test Coordinator at Pro Gulf MS for the new Coast Guard National Security Cutters. Four grandchildren: Nicholas and Kassandra Lane of E.Lebanon, Maine, Andrew and Abigail Gemborys of Barre, Mass., and two great-grandchildren: Ava Lane and Hunter Boles of E. Lebanon, Maine.
According to her wishes, Cheryl was cremated. A remembrance and Celebration of her life will be held in the spring of 2013.
Please share with her husband Paul any special and/or ordinary memories of Cheryl you have via card, letter or Facebook. And how could there have been ordinary with Cheryl! She was English, Irish and Choctwa Indian.
If you wish, please make a donation in Cheryl’s name to an animal shelter, half-way house, food bank, Salvation Army Kettle or drop off center, VA Hospital or your favorite charity.
“Blessed be my Aunt Cheryl, who became an ancestor today. High Priestess, Witch, Strong Woman. What is Remembered, Lives,” said Jesamyn Angelica Beuke. Jesamyn is Cheryl’s niece, a publishing editor from Hayward, Calif.