Cherylene Grace Lovett passed away on Tuesday morning, May 4, 2021. Cherylene always believed life was like a good book, with numerous stories filling each and every page. Clearly, this reflected Cherylene’s lifelong vocation as a school media specialist. She spent the majority of her years working as a librarian at then French Junior High School, later moving to Shawnee Heights High School, and eventually returning to Topeka public schools as the librarian at Topeka West before retiring in 2019. Cherylene began her journey with her birth to Ralph and Irene Shirley Nail of Perry, KS, at Stormont Vail Hospital in Topeka on October 23, 1950. She attended Perry public schools and eventually graduated from Kansas State Teachers College in 1972 with a BSE in Social Science Education and later an MLS in Library Science in 1978. Immediately after graduation, she was hired as a social science teacher. But her passion was young adult literature, which started with her friendship with the late Mike Prinz, the nationally recognized librarian at Topeka West. During her tenure as both a teacher and librarian, she was blessed by the remarkable talents of colleagues who made their mark on her distinguished educational journey. They included the late Otto Bodenhausen, principal of French Junior High, the late Janice Whitman, director of library services at Shawnee Heights public schools, Doug and Diane Goheen, Katy Weir, Richard and Laura Soash, Lon and Mary Dormer, Karen Mead, Steve Giddens, Charles Applehanz, Diane Leupold, Sue Patrick, Matt Hirsch, and her colleagues at Topeka West High School. She was also inspired by the thousands of students whose lives she touched during her forty-seven-year career in education.
Cherylene is survived by her husband of nearly fifty years, Chris, and her daughter, Elizabeth, both of Topeka. She is also survived by her sister Elmerene McArthur of Manhattan; two brothers, Dennis Nail of Lancaster, PA, and Crosby Nail of Topeka; two nephews, Quentin and Colton McArthur of Kansas City; cousins Shirley Morrow of Topeka and Michael Morrow of Wichita, Dana Stanwix of Grantville, KS, Gena Leslie of Lecompton, KS, and Tina Sterling of Nashville, TN. In lieu of flowers, the family encourages donations in Cherylene’s memory to the American Cancer Society.