August 16, 1944 – June 16, 2020
Cheryl “Cherie” Ann Hittner was born on August 16, 1944, in Winona, Minn. Cherie was the daughter of Emily Marie Lovas and Edward Leo Hittner — known as “Ed and Em Hittner,” both born and raised in Winona, Minn.
Upon high school graduation from Cotter High School, Cherie went on to work for the airlines. While in Nassau Bahamas, she met her husband, James Arden Graham, a Decatur, Mich., native. Cherie and James had two daughters, Christiana Pilar Graham and Kristine Amour Graham (Banton). While living in Winona, Minn., Cherie taught yoga at the local YMCA for numerous years.
After a divorce in 1978, Cherie and the girls moved to Tampa, Fla., where Cherie met her second, and final husband, Breckenridge “Breck” David Greene. Cherie and the girls moved to Berkeley, Calif., where they lived on Breck’s 72-foot Louisiana shrimper boat, the Pieces II. Together, they experienced being part of several scientific and oceanic expeditions, allocation of marine reserves, and conservation efforts. Cherie loved the ocean and soon became an avid scuba diver.
Eventually, Cherie and the family moved to Fremont, Calif., where the daughters graduated from high school. Cherie had a successful wallpapering business, The Great Wall, which became her career for over 20 years. After retirement, Cherie and Breck moved to Coarsegold, California — 12 miles from the south gate entrance of Yosemite National Park. She lived in Coarsegold for about 25 years. Cherie could always be found volunteering in her community, some of which included several years at the Madera County Animal Center, where she helped rescue and find homes for various animals. Her community and friends recognized Cherie for her giving spirit and willingness to always help, and she was often mentioned in her local paper.
After losing Breck to cancer, Cherie moved even closer to Yosemite, in Oakhurst, Calif. Her landscape in the mountain community was rich with strong friendships and fellowship, and where she spent the last two and half years of her life.
Cherie will be greatly missed by sister, Gloria (Joseph) Masyga of Winona Minn.; her former husband and friend, James Arden Graham of California; daughters, Christiana Pilar Graham of Oakhurst, Calif., and Kristine Amour Banton of Novato, Calif.; and her grandchildren, Henry Leo Banton and Natalie Emme Banton.
Due to the constraints of COVID-19, a memorial and celebration of Cherie’s life is tentatively scheduled June 2021 and will be held at ECCO Conference Center – nestled deep under the branches of the High Sierra. The mission statement of ECCO is one that believes in “…renewal, beauty, education, service, and prayer come together for the glory of God,” which truly represents Cherie’s life, her charisma, and all the people she miraculously touched with her smile.