Dr. Cheryl Blalock Aspy

Dr. Cheryl Blalock Aspy

January 1, 1947 – December 27, 2022

Dr. Cheryl Blalock Aspy of Edmond, Oklahoma, walked forward into the next life on December 27, 2022, after a successful battle with cancer. She faced her illness with the same courage, resilience, and fierce strength with which she faced every challenge and won every moment of her beautiful life. Forward is the only direction in which Cheryl knew to move, so we know she journeys into a new adventure in her heavenly life.

Cheryl was born to Amelia Mattie Stanberry Blalock and William Edison Blalock on January 1, 1947, in Quitman, Texas. She was the third of her parent’s six daughters. She graduated from Quitman High School in 1965. While there she made lifelong friends, played clarinet, won awards for poetry recitation, swam in her beloved Lake Lydia, and was known for her intellect. Then she graduated from Texas Women’s University cum laude in 1971 before beginning her master’s degree in Counseling. She taught elementary school while in graduate school. She loved children and enjoyed following her students’ curiosity, even if it disrupted the standard curriculum. Cheryl’s passion for academia and research led her next to the University of Maryland to pursue a PhD in Measurement and Statistics. She was again a trailblazer as the only woman in her doctoral program, obtaining her degree 1981.

After graduate school, she married her great love David N. Aspy, PhD, and shared with him a life, a passion for knowledge, a career in academia, and a child, Mary Christine. They lived in Dallas, Texas, Louisville, Kentucky, and ultimately Edmond, Oklahoma, as Cheryl transitioned from a professorship at the University of Louisville to the University of Oklahoma in 1996. Cheryl served as academic faculty in the research division of the Department of Family and Preventive Medicine at the University of Oklahoma College of Medicine for 18 years, retiring in 2014. Across her career, Cheryl touched the lives of countless students, resident physicians, and research colleagues. Her personal warmth, kindness, and joy in everything she did, inspired many colleagues throughout her career. She was known for academic excellence and encouragement of others in equal measure. Cheryl was named Alumna of the Year by her lma Mater in 1999, published over 120 academic papers, served on the editorial board of multiple journals, received millions of dollars in grant funding for her institutions, and authored four books.

Cheryl was a proud member of Southern Hill Christian Church for 27 years. She found community in her Sunday School and “Thursday Group” meeting for weekly potlucks for over 20 years. Cheryl served the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in Oklahoma on the Commission on Clergy and on the Board of Phillips Seminary. She worked to help others find their spiritual gifts and  share them with the world. Cheryl believed one’s work is a gift inspired by faith shared to make the world a kinder, better place.

Cheryl loved to garden and after her retirement became a Master Gardener. She loved adventure and traveled  the world with her daughter, sisters, and friends.  Cheryl loved great art and never missed a museum, theater performance, or new book release. Cheryl volunteered as an usher at the Civic Center Music Hall in Oklahoma City to enjoy extra performances. She was abundantly practical, but splurged on good coffee, good shoes, and good perfume. Cheryl loved her daughter, Christine, wholeheartedly, and she delighted in seeing her grow up to become a physician, a conscientious citizen, and a dedicated mother and loving wife. But perhaps, Cheryl’s favorite person of all was her grandson Nathaniel who was born in February 2020. She stepped up to provide childcare: reading, singing, and snuggling through the COVID-19 pandemic. Cancer was another challenge in a life marked by conquering challenges. Cheryl was supported by a host of loving friends and family throughout her treatment journey and lived abundantly for five years after her initial diagnosis.

Cheryl was preceded in death by her beloved husband David, her mother Amelia, and her father William Edison Blalock. She is survived by her daughter Christine (Aspy) Bridges, son-in-law Josh Bridges, grandson Nathaniel Bridges, her five sisters: Sandra Grider, Annette Simpkins, Barbra Wallace, Beth Kea, Pam Hall, many nieces, nephews, a host of loving friends, and valued colleagues across the world. She will be missed tremendously by all whose lives she touched with her kindness, her encouragement, her mentorship, her generosity, and her love.

In lieu of flowers please consider a donation to the Southern Hills Christian Church Tree of Life.

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