Ronnie Lynn Cheek, 82, passed away on the morning of January 7th, 2024, in Mesquite, Texas. Ronnie was born in Baird, Texas on August 8th, 1941, to Charles Roy Cheek and Clara Pearl Young Cheek.
He married Linda Farr at Aldersgate Methodist Church in Abilene on June 21st, 1963. They were married for 60 years until Linda's passing this last October. She was a life-long educator, as well, with Abilene ISD. They had two children, Randy (1966), and Jennifer (1971). After living in Abilene, the first 13 years of their marriage, they moved to the Wylie community where Ronnie built a home on land that had been in the Farr family for generations. They lived there for the next 44 years until failing health compelled them to move into assisted living.
Ronnie grew up in Abilene. He attended Abilene public schools and graduated from Abilene High in 1959. He obtained a Bachelor of Science degree in Mathematics from McMurry College in 1965. In 1970 he received a National Science Foundation scholarship to attend Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa. He spent three summers there completing a Master of Science in Mathematics. It was at Drake that he learned Calculus.
Ronnie taught at Bay City High School during his first year of teaching from 1965-66. His growing family then moved back to Abilene, where he taught at Cooper High School from 1966 to 1977. In 1977 he ventured out on his own creating Cheek Computer Service, which remained in business for 3 years. In 1980 he felt the call to go back into public education. He loved mathematics but also loved the students and being a positive influence on them. He taught zero-hour Calculus at Wylie High School in 1980, which then turned into a full time position the following year. He taught Algebra, Calculus I and II, and Computer Programming at Wylie High for the next 20+ years. He also taught Calculus I and II to airmen at Dyess Air Force Base through McMurry College in the 1980s and 90s. He commented on several occasions that they were some of the best students he ever had. They were serious about furthering their education and wanted to improve themselves. Many went on to earn commissions. Dad received many honors and accolades from "his" airmen students. He treasured the time he was able to teach them.
Dad was a fairly accomplished baseball player. He was a pitcher for Abilene High School from 1957 to 59. He played for coach Blackburn, who he considered to be the best baseball coach who ever lived. Ronnie also played semi-pro ball for a few years after high school. An old newspaper clipping recorded the best outing on the mound he ever had, going the distance, striking out 17 batters while also hitting 2 homeruns himself. He threw a mean knuckleball.
In 1977, Ronnie chartered Boy Scout Troop #260 with Wylie United Methodist Church. He remained the Scoutmaster for approximately 20 years. This troop produced several dozen Eagle Scouts of very high quality. You were expected to diligently live the scout oath and law. You had to earn each and every merit badge. Troop 260 was a "camping" troop. A boy could expect to be able to log 100+ nights camping, if he desired to, before attaining Eagle. Ronnie ran a tight ship. He took the task of helping to turn boys into young men very seriously while also allowing the boys to enjoy their scouting experience. Ronnie was the scoutmaster of the Chisholm Trail Council contingent that attended the 1985 National Scout Jamboree at Fort A.P. Hill, Virginia. In 1993, Ronnie and two of his scouting buddies travelled to the country of Ukraine, and started the first Boy Scout Troop in that country, post-Soviet Union era, in the city of Kiev.
Ronnie was preceded in death by his parents, Roy and Clara Cheek, and his sweetheart of 60 years, Linda Farr Cheek. He was also preceded by a sister-in-law, Gelora Farr.
He is survived by his sister Clara Cheek Thompson of Abilene, son Randy Cheek and his wife Dorthea of Bryan, daughter Jennifer Russell and her husband Joseph of Kaufman, grandson Mackenzie Russell and wife Lou of Dallas, grandson Jacob Cheek of Madison, Wisconsin, granddaughter Emily Cheek Womack and husband Zack of Harker Heights, granddaughter Haley Russell Linn and husband CJ of Dallas, and a great-grandson Judson Womack, whom dad was able to meet and hold 10 hours before he passed.
Finally, Ronnie was a Christian. He received Christ as his Lord and Savior when he was a boy. In his final hours, we spoke with him about holding on to Jesus and to receive him into Heaven as his Lord. He blinked several times and gently nodded his head yes and attempted to smile. We know that he is in Heaven with Linda.
Pallbearers will include Randy Cheek, Joseph Russell, Kerry Frazier, GT Ward, Mackenzie Russell, Larry Farr, Duane Farr, and Wesley Wood.
Honorary Pallbearers will be all of the former scouts of Troop 260.