Cheryl Jean (Henkel) Lawton

January 17, 1947 ~ September 8, 2018 (age 71)

Cheryl J. Lawton, 71, of Norwood Township passed away peacefully on Saturday, September 8, 2018, at home, surrounded by her loving family.

She was born on January 17, 1947, in Detroit, to Rudolph A. and Helen (Chorley) Henkel.  She grew up in Huntington Woods and graduated from Shrine High School, Royal Oak, in 1965, then attended Michigan State University for several years.  Cheryl spent much of her late childhood summers at her parents’ cottage on Lake Charlevoix.  Rudy and Helen moved there in 1971.

She is survived by her devoted husband of 46 years, Duane Lawton of Norwood Township; a son; and a daughter, Melinda (Lawton) Miller of Troy; three grandchildren, Daisy Dmuchowski-Burr of Troy; Ethan Lawton and Gavin Hathcock of Troy; three sisters, Mary Henkel of Charlevoix, Kathryn (William) Krug of Lake Orion and Deborah (James) Halasz of South Boston, Virginia; as well as numerous cousins, nieces and nephews.  Cheryl was preceded in death by her parents; sister and brother-in-law, Pamela and Thomas Taunt and brother, Christopher Jay Henkel.  

Cheryl married Duane Lawton On March 25, 1972, in Jackson, Michigan.   They moved to Troy in 1973 as Duane took a new job.  Her love for children ran so deep that for several years she was a nanny to many families while she raised her own and doted on her neices and nephews.  She was an amazing cook and could make anything without a recipe, including popular custom cakes for birthdays.  Cheryl was a crafter: knitting, sewing and painting.  She loved to travel, particularly out west.  In 1997 Cheryl & Duane celebrated their 25th anniversary in Hawaii.  Subsequently they returned 20 times.  

Cheryl and Duane moved from Troy in 2006 to their dream log home they built together in Norwood Township.  Cheryl enjoyed playing bridge and was a member of the Petoskey Bridge Club.  She was known as the “Cake Lady” there for her yummy and frequent cakes.

Cheryl would welcome everyone into her home with kindness.  They knew her big smile and infectuous humor meant she considered them like family.   She had a memorable and contagious laugh.  Despite her failing health for many years, she remained upbeat and positive and helped everyone feel the same.

You are all invited to a celebration of Cheryl’s life to be held on Sunday, September 23rd at 2:00-5:00 pm in the Jesus Is Lord Community Church of Bayshore (10593 Seneca Ave, Charlevoix, MI 49720).  Refreshments and continued reminiscences following 2:00 program, come as you are.

In lieu of flowers, her family requests donations be made to B.A.S.E.S. in Charlevoix, a substance abuse counseling and recovery center. ( 

Donations may be made to:

208 W. Lincoln, Charlevoix MI 49720
Tel: 1-231-547-1144

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