The Free Press, Mankato, MN

February 22, 2010

Sgt. 1st Class Robert A. Cheever


The Free Press

AMBOY — Robert Arthur “Rob” Cheever, Sergeant First Class, United States Army, 37, formerly of Mankato and Cleveland, Minnesota, now of Ft. Drum, New York, died of pancreatic cancer at the Waseca Medical Center on February 21, 2010.

Funeral Service will be held at 10:00 a.m., Wednesday, February 24, 2010, at the First Presbyterian Church, Mankato with Rev. Dawn Carder and Rev. Al Jergenson, officiating. Burial with Military Honors will be in Ft. Snelling National Cemetery. Visitation will be held from 5-7 p.m., Tuesday, at the First Presbyterian Church. Mankato Mortuary is in charge of arrangements. Memorials may be given to the American Red Cross or the American Cancer Society.

Rob was born June 7, 1972, in Chapel Hill, NC, to Walter and Cheryl (Bates) Cheever. Rob graduated from Mankato East High School in 1991, joined the U.S. Army shortly after graduation, and made it his career. Rob was united in marriage to Jill Helgason on July 11, 1998 in Armstrong, IA. Rob served two tours of duty in Korea, and three deployments in Afghanistan. He served in the Artillery his entire career; as a paratrooper, as a recruiter, and as a gun crew. His duty assignments include gun crew Chief, Platoon Sergeant, and First Sergeant of the Rear Detachment Company C. His last assignment was with the 4-25 Field Artillery of the 10th Mountain Division, which returned from Afghanistan on December 30, 2009. In addition in many commendations from his superiors, Rob was inducted into the Audie Murphy Club, an honorary society for outstanding Non Commissioned Officers, and the St. Barbs Award, an artillery honor for excellence in their field. Rob was awarded the Bronze Star for his service to his country during his Afghanistan tour of 2008. 

Rob delighted in his family and they always came first in his life. He enjoyed being active, riding bikes, outdoor activities, and hunting with gun and bow. Woodworking was also important, even if it meant that his car had to sit outside because the garage shop was full.  Most of all he always kept his connection to family and friends, visiting them whenever he could be where they were.

Rob is survived by his wife, Jill of Cleveland; two children, Madison Cheryl and Jacob Walter; father and stepmother, Walter and Lois Cheever of Cleveland, MN; mother, Cheryl Bates Norine of Sioux Falls; two sisters, Kara Martin of Richland, WA, Leah (Kent) Hendrickson of Duluth; grandmothers, Winifred Cheever of Brookings, SD, Beryl Bates of Sioux Falls, SD; mother-in-law, Patricia Helgason of Armstrong, IA; two sisters-in-law and their husbands, Karma and Tim Kelly of Humboldt, SD, Holly and Greg Keszler of Sturgis, SD; aunts, uncles, and many extended family.

Rob was preceded in death by his father-in-law, Bob Helgason; grandfathers, Lyle Cheever and G. Robert Bates; aunt, Kathleen Cheever.

In honor of Rob’s love of the color Red the family would invite people to wear Red to honor him at the Funeral Service.