Arthur Joseph Cherry Jr. passed away on 5/5/2021 at the age of 82. He was a loving and devoted husband, father, and friend. He is survived by his wife, Trudi, his three children, David, Diane, and Joseph, and his three grandchildren, Kobie, Edison, and Ellis.
Art (lovingly known as ‘Butch’) was born in Duluth, MN on August 10, 1938 to Arthur Sr. and Alice Cherry. He has one younger sibling, Roger, who currently lives in West Linn with his wife Ilona. Arthur Sr. moved the family to Oregon in 1947 where they lived in Vanport and eventually Oak Grove. Butch graduated high school in 1956 from Milwaukie High where he found a passion for cars; in particular, driving fast.
After graduation, Art took a job at A.B. Smith Chevrolet as a car ‘shagger’ (the person who gets to drive the cars across the lot). During his spare time, he was known to participate in some questionably legal drag racing in the former outskirts of Portland. The biggest success from this job was meeting a fun, funny, and bubbly switchboard operator, his future wife, Trudi. They were married for 61 years.
Art began working underneath Arthur Sr. at AC Distributing in Milwaukie, the family-owned business. During the fledgling years of the company, he and Trudi welcomed their first child, David, and less than two years later, Diane. The family was living in West Linn. As the 1960s progressed, he moved the family to Oak Grove and then onto Milwaukie. After his third child, Joe, was born he established the family in Gladstone where he would live for the rest of his life.
The business eventually dissolved. Art spent the rest of his career as a journeyman sign installer, working in all the elements Oregon has to offer. Unfortunately, his body stopped keeping up with his will and he had to retire in 2009. He now had time to focus on keeping up the house and relaxing from a life hard worked.
Art was a devout Catholic who regularly attended church at St. John’s the Baptist. His compassion was felt by others in the congregation, and he would often stay after to chat with other church members and priests where they would discuss everything from the philosophical and poignant to the weather (and on one memorable Sunday in May 1980, the eruption of Mt. St. Helens).
In his personal life, he was known for his generosity and loyalty to his family and friends, always willing to lend a hand or pick up the phone to talk. He was a 3rd degree black belt in karate and spent his 30s into his twilight years as a beloved instructor. While disciplined and demanding, he was always empathetic and understanding of his students, traits that he displayed daily with his family. An avid alpine skier, his love for the outdoors was palpable and infectious.
He will be remembered for his patience and dry wit, as well as humorously taking a few fun jabs from his loved ones. Art loved life, loved living, and loved his family. He was loved and always will be loved… a legacy that will transcend for generations to come.
A Memorial Mass will be held on Friday, May 21, 2021, at 11:00 AM, at St. John the Baptist Church in Milwaukie, followed by committal at 1:00 PM at Riverview Abbey Mausoleum.
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