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Published: Wednesday, 4/23/2014

Cheryl Kish [1949-2014]; Area teacher later joined Peace Corps

BY MARK ZABORNEY
BLADE STAFF WRITER

Cheryl Kish, a teacher in the Ottawa Hills and Sylvania school systems who went on to join the Peace Corps and oversee grants for the Ohio education department, died April 13 in Kobacker House hospice, Columbus. She was 64.

She had cancer, her brother, Dr. Willis Morse, said.

Ms. Kish lived in Hilliard, Ohio, and at work, made sure education department grant recipients complied with terms of their award. Often that meant traveling the state.

“She enjoyed the work she did and derived a lot of satisfaction from that,” her brother said. “She was able to keep working through chemotherapy and treatment. She traveled and pretty much had a good quality of life until the end.”

Born Sept. 4, 1949, to Rose and Willis Morse, she was a 1967 graduate of Waite High School, where she served on student council and edited the yearbook. She was a 2007 Waite Hall of Fame inductee.

After graduating, she attended the University of Toledo, intending to become an English teacher. But in her junior year, she left to take a job at Ohio Bell and, in time was an office manager, according to her hall of fame biography. Once she returned to school, she studied such subjects as linguistics and cognitive psychology. She received a bachelor’s degree from UT, and later, a master’s degree and a doctorate.

“She was willing to try a new thing and would enjoy the effort,” her brother said. “She wouldn’t necessarily settle for a given job or location. She wanted to see if she could challenge herself.”

At Ottawa Hills High School she taught English and students with behavioral disorders, her brother said. At Arbor Hills Junior High in the Sylvania system, she taught English.

“She enjoyed children ... seeing them learn and be excited about learning,” her brother said.

In the Peace Corps, she was a curriculum specialist for the government of Mauritania in West Africa.

She was formerly married to Dennis Kish.

Surviving are her son, Nicholas, and brothers, Russell and Dr. Willis Morse.

At Ms. Kish’s request, her body was cremated. Her ashes will be placed at the Scattering Garden of Kingwood Memorial Park, Lewis Center, Ohio, at 11:30 p.m. May 10. Arrangements are by the Tidd Family Funeral Home, Hilliard, Ohio. The family suggests tributes to Tails Humane Society, DeKalb, Ill.

Contact Mark Zaborney at: mzaborney@theblade.com or 419-724-6182.



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