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January 23, 2023
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Cheryl Ruth Rusher Stotts, age 77, of Sherwood, passed away with her loved ones by her side on January 23, 2023. She was born on June 29, 1945, in Tulsa, Oklahoma, to Levi and Gladys Rusher. Her family, including her older brother Jerry Rusher, moved to Sherwood, Arkansas, when she was two, and she lived in Central Arkansas her whole life. She graduated from the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS) with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing in 1967 and later from the University of Central Arkansas with her master’s degree in community health nursing. For the next 30 years, Cheryl was a nursing instructor for the UAMS College of Nursing. She was one of the first faculty to teach at UAMS Regional Centers, then called Area Health Education Centers (AHECs). She flew by plane to all corners of Arkansas to teach nurses who wanted to attain their Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) without traveling to Little Rock. She was always first to jump on the newest technology and transitioned her courses to interactive video and online to reach more student nurses. Although she spent most of her career in community health and geriatrics, she gladly taught any course she was asked, from maternal child to geriatric nursing. She received the 2000 UAMS Faculty Volunteer of the Year Award for her many years of service with Senior Citizens Activities Today (SCAT). She was very thankful for the opportunity to teach and mentor hundreds of nursing students. She will be remembered by countless nurses, colleagues, and patients through this professional legacy.
Cheryl will be known for her quick wit and big smile. She was a compassionate and caring person. She was friends with many. If you knew her, you loved her. She enjoyed traveling with her husband and family. She was an avid bridge player, playing in many clubs and winning her last game this past week. She was a lifelong Methodist and a member of the North Little Rock First United Methodist Church. She taught Sunday school to special needs adults alongside her husband and served on many church committees.
Cheryl loved her family and was an active part of her children’s and grandchildren’s lives. She went to their school activities, dance recitals, band concerts, etc. She made them all feel loved and very important. She was looking forward to two big events this year: a new great-grandbaby girl and her granddaughter’s wedding.
She was preceded in death by her parents, and son, Matthew Clint Rhoads. Survivors include her husband, Dr. Craig Stotts, daughter Anna Moore (Jay), daughter-in-law Dr. Sarah Rhoads, brother Jerry Rusher (Suzanne), stepdaughters Maria Bianciardi (Grace) and Katie Phillips (Alex), and stepson Rusty Rhoads (Terry). Grandchildren Kyle Hubbard, Carter Rhoads (Amber), Laney Rhoads, Mallory Villareal (Austin), Ginger Rhoads (fiancé Merritt Chastain), Jenna Beth Rhoads, Emily and Allison Moore, Nora and Eli Bianciardi, Reid and Annie Phillips. Great-grandchildren Oliver Rhoads, Silas and Porter Villareal, and soon-to-be-born Jules Ruth Villareal. Her special friend and cousin Jane Bennett.
Services will be held at 2 pm Saturday, January 28, 2023 at NLR FUMC, 6701 John F. Kennedy Blvd, NLR, AR 72116 with visitation following the service.