Dale Cheryl Collins was born, to Dale Collins and the former Delores Rush, in Council Grove, February 13, 1953. Her parents grew up outside Junction City and moved to Wichita where her father, a K-State graduate, worked as an engineer for Beach, Cessna, and Boeing.
Cheryl attended school in Wichita, graduating from Wichita Heights in 1971. She came to Kansas State, and belonged to the Kappa Delta sorority. Almost exactly fifty years ago, in one of Steve Golan's History classes, she met G.W. Clift. They married on her graduation in 1976.
She worked a year as a public school teacher. Then Cheryl returned to the History Department to earn her M.A. She originally did volunteer work at the Riley County Historical Museum, before being offered the Archivist job there. Later she succeeded her mentor, Jean Dallas, as Director, a job Cheryl held for many years.
She was active in state and regional museum and history organizations, for example on the Executive Committee of the Kansas State Historical Society in Topeka. Besides active participation in several History-related organizations, like the Westerners, she was also a member of diverse organizations, including the Domestic Science Club and PEO.
Cheryl enjoyed spectator sports, reading, travel, and the performing arts. She was especially fond of visiting New Orleans, Melbourne Australia, and London. In 1987 she and her husband bought the Ingraham House (built in 1867) on Fairchild. It has since been listed on the National Registry of Historic Places
Her son, John, was born in 1988. She is survived by her husband, her son and his wife Tiffeny and daughter Sarah (of Wichita), her sister Jayne Rudd (of Wichita), her sister-in-law and brother-in-law Marsha and John Scott (of Enid Oklahoma), her sister-in-law and brother-in-law Kris and David Clift (of Winfield), and by relations and friends of all ages.
As Director of the RCHS she will be remembered for her willingness to serve, her smooth administrative hand, and her fund raising successes.
Cheryl's is an incomplete story. She had planned to work for an additional two years as Director and then to travel, to visit many new museums, and to find new ways to support the on-going study and promotion of local History.
Her funeral will be held at 1:30 on Tuesday, September 21, at First Methodist Church, 612 Poyntz Avenue, Manhattan, where she was a member. Reverend Barry Dundas will officiate. Interment will be at 3:30 P.M. Tuesday at the Humboldt Creek Cemetery.
The family will receive friends from 6:00 to 8:00 P.M. Monday, September 20, at the Yorgensen-Meloan-Londeen Funeral Home. Online condolences may be left for the family through the funeral home website at www.ymlfuneralhome.com.
Memorial contributions may be made to the Riley County Historical Society. Contributions may be left in care of the Yorgensen-Meloan-Londeen Funeral Home, 1616 Poyntz Avenue, Manhattan, KS 66502.