Cheryl J. Gryga, 48

Cheryl J. Gryga, 48, of West Bend, passed away on Sunday, Aug. 29, 2010, at her home surrounded by her family.

She was born on Aug. 10, 1962, in Germantown, the daughter of Edgar and Darlene (nee Bruss) Maas and on Sept. 3, 1989, she was united in marriage to Jim Gryga at St. John United Church of Christ in Germantown.

Cheryl graduated from high school in three years and attended the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, where she earned a bachelor of arts degree in voice and a bachelor of arts degree in piano. She pursued and received her masterís degree in family counseling. She was a member of Delta Omicron Music Fraternity, the Wisconsin Music Teachers Association, the Milwaukee Music Teachersí Association, the National Association of Teachers of Singing and Peace United Church of Christ in Kewaskum.

Music was a big part of her life. She was a dedicated teacher, loved teaching music and supporting her students. Cheryl instructed many students in private lessons in piano and voice. Even while undergoing chemotherapy and a stem cell transplant, she continued to teach. When she was too sick to teach, she oversaw her former students teach. She accompanied her children, nieces and students at many music competitions. Many of her students went into music careers in college and beyond. Cheryl also once sang backup for Paul Anka and Barry Manilow when they performed in Milwaukee. She was also active in raising cancer awareness. In 1999 and 2000 students from her studio won an award for the most donations from a small business collected for the Bob Cross Cancer Run.

She was the honorary chairperson for the Bob Cross Cancer Run in 2001 and in 2003 was recognized as the Survivor of the Year for the American Cancer Society Relay for Life in West Bend.

Cheryl cherished her family and was a loving wife and devoted mother. She loved her pets through the years, especially Bubba, Chester, Gus, Bug and Leo. She will be deeply missed by her husband, her family and by all who were touched by her life.

Those Cheryl leaves behind to cherish her memory include her husband, Jim; three children, Megan, Connor and Emily, all at home; her parents, Edgar and Darlene Maas of Menomonee Falls; two sisters, Dr. Diana Maas (Dr. Michael Erdmann) of Germantown and Laura (Terry) McNeill of Dodgeville; four nieces, Leah and Jenna McNeill, Mackenzie and Alexandra Erdmann; aunts, uncles, cousins, other relatives, students and many friends.

Funeral services for Cheryl will be held at 7 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 2, 2010, at Peace United Church of Christ in Kewaskum. The Rev. Eric Kirkegaard will officiate and burial will be at 10 a.m. on Friday in the church cemetery on Highway 28 West, Kewaskum.

Relatives and friends may call on Thursday at the church from 4 p.m. until the time of services.

In lieu of flowers, memorials towards a music education scholarship that will be established in Cherylís honor are appreciated.

The Miller Funeral Home in Kewaskum has been entrusted with Cheryl's arrangements. Additional information and guest book may be found at

Cherylís family extends their heartfelt appreciation to Dr. Fenske, Dr. Blust, Julie Pruett, NP, the staff of Froedtert Hospital Cancer Center, especially the Day Hospital, for the care given to Cheryl and her family.