Cheryl Anne Carre was love and sunshine.
The 40-year-old woman from Bradford West Gwillimbury is being remembered as a kind and patient person, who adored her nieces and her husband of 16 years.
“(She was) one of the most patient people on the face of this Earth. She was always friendly, outgoing. She loved her family, she loved her work, her home, and she loved me,” said her husband, Kevin Carre.
“I don’t think I ever saw her truly angry in her whole life. She was a kind, loving soul, and a lot of people miss her every day. She was a part of my life for over 18 years, and I’m still having trouble trying to figure out what to do next.”
Cheryl’s life was tragically cut short Oct. 27, when she was hit by at least one vehicle while crossing Holland Street near West Park Avenue on a dark, sleety evening.
A vehicle has been seized in the apparent hit and run, and a person of interest has been identified, according to South Simcoe police.
The day Cheryl died, she had just finished her shift at Home Depot and had planned to walk to a store to buy milk before taking a cab home, said Kevin.
“I still remember her calling when she finished work. She was happy to be coming home,” he said. “ I only started to worry when … her manager called (after hearing) about an accident.”
While Cheryl’s family waits for answers about what exactly happened that night, Kevin is holding onto happy memories.
“The day before she died, we actually got to spend the entire day together,” he said, adding they slept in, had a late breakfast, did some reading and talked, and shopped for a new computer.
“Ambling along, just enjoying each other’s company.”
The pair were inseparable from the moment they met.
Both students at Seneca College, their family jokes Kevin did not realize he was on their first date, despite Cheryl asking him out multiple ways over a period of several hours.
It was love at first sight for Cheryl, said Laura Carre, her sister in law.
“Cheryl was like, ‘He walked in and that was it. He’s mine, thanks,’” Laura said. “They were so cute. They were always together. They were the one word in the family — ‘Kevin and Cheryl.’”
Cheryl was a woman who knew what she wanted and was patient enough to work toward getting it, she said.
“She was a lot like water. She could very patiently get things done,” Laura said. “She had infinite patience. The family joke was she never got angry — she got mildly perturbed.”
Cheryl found a soulmate in Kevin.
The couple had a lot of the same interests, including a love of World of Warcraft, and sci-fi and fantasy movies and TV shows, such as Star Wars, Stranger Things, and Death in Paradise.
“I’m still absolutely flabbergasted that she liked so many of the same things as I did,” Kevin said.
Cheryl also loved Halloween movies and reading, and she was most recently working through an academic book about the Salem witch trials, added Laura.
Cheryl also spent a great deal of time in the kitchen, whipping up favourite meals such as lasagna, quesadillas, and chicken dishes.
“She absolutely loved to cook. The first dish she made for me was cajun chicken,” said Kevin. “I always joked my biggest competition for her attention was her own cooking.”
Growing up, Cheryl did 4-H and Girl Guides, and she used skills she learned in those groups later in life.
Passionate about learning new things, Cheryl often took courses and listened to podcasts on topics that interested her, such as business, “just because she wanted to know stuff,” said Laura.
Cheryl was born with some difficulties, and her mom, Carol, was once told she would not live past age two, but she persevered through all of life’s challenges.
“She was always positive about everything. She never took anything for granted. (How she died) is not what she deserved,” Laura said.
“She existed. She was loved. There was this bright sunshine, and we’ve all lost her. I feel bad for the people who didn’t know Cheryl. She was such a good person.”
There was never a doubt that Cheryl loved her family deeply.
Cheryl grew up in the Nobleton area, and, after high school, she dedicated some time to helping care for her ill grandmother.
She had two brothers and two nieces, who she adored.
“She lit up when she saw them,” Kevin said.
“Christmas and birthdays were an insane time for her,” added Laura, with a laugh.
Never one for wasteful gifts, Cheryl often made her own presents or bought something from a local business, sometimes from the Bradford and Innisfil farmers’ markets where she and Kevin were on first-name basis with many vendors.
She even once bought Laura’s dog, a goldendoodle named Thora, a personally made bowl holder from a local artisan.
Cheryl had recently made homemade apple sauce and preserves, some of which was made especially for a family member with health issues, and she had a puffin embroidery project on the go for a Christmas gift, said Laura.
When Cheryl and Kevin got married, she even wore Kevin’s grandmother’s French lace-and-satin wedding dress from 1941.
Cheryl was also passionate about genealogy, had done heritage DNA testing, and spent hours with Kevin’s mom, pouring over family history records.
Family was essential to Cheryl’s life, and she even carried Kevin’s wedding ring with her because it needed resizing.
Unfortunately, Cheryl and Kevin’s wedding rings — made special by an Irish jeweller — may have been lost on Holland Street on the night of her death, and their family is hoping to get them back.
“Police don’t know if they have it in custody,” Laura said.
The yellow gold bands have Irish designs and the wedding date engraved inside.
Not wanting to release personal contact information, the family has asked anyone who may know the rings’ whereabouts to contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
After South Simcoe police identified Cheryl after her death, hundreds of people shared their condolences on Facebook, many of them citing her kindness as an employee at Home Depot, where family said she loved to work.
Cheryl’s signature greeting, especially on the phone, was “Hi. How’s it going?” and “she genuinely wanted to know. Cheryl wanted an answer,” Laura said.
A GoFundMe memorial fund has also been set up for Cheryl’s family. As of Wednesday afternoon, more than $7,200 had been raised.
While her family grieves, they are holding onto the shining light that was Cheryl’s very essence.
“I miss her every day. I still half expect her to come around the corner,” said Kevin. “She really was my whole world.”