Mrs. Vickie is pictured in the back room, in the middle with her Pilot sisters. (Melinda Bryant Photos)

COCHRAN, GEORGIA: Several years ago, before moving back to Cochran, I was visiting my family, and made a visit to one of the stores in town. While shopping, I noticed this lady pushing a buggy, filled with grocery items. She looked familiar, and what was odd was she was giving me the same look as I was her.

“Becky?” Vickie Cheek asked. “I have not seen you in so long … how are you?” She enveloped me in one of her sweet hugs, and we chatted for a minute, and then went back to our own shopping.

For as long as I have known Mrs. Vickie, she had always been like that – smiling and receptive and genuine. I remember many times watching her at church working with children’s department activities and in the community with the Pilot Club, and later with her family’s business. Never did I see her get cross with a soul. Her kindness smoothed over many situations, I am sure.

On April 16, 2020, at the age of 66, Vickie Cheek passed away in a hospital in Macon after an extended illness.

Julia Lucas said this of Mrs. Vickie, “She made a significant impact on this community. Her passing has created a huge void to all who had the pleasure to know her.”

She continued, “My time with Vickie was as a member of the Board of Directors of the Chamber of Commerce and member of the Pilot Club of Cochran.”

“During a business meeting when the members seemed to reach an impasse, we knew we could call on Vickie for a grounded, intelligent, diplomatic resolution to any dilemma,” she added.

Julia said, “She was a leader who graciously took leadership roles and was eager to organize projects. As a forward thinker, she envisioned Winter Wonderland Express and made it happen.”

“Thousands of children and adults have and will continue to benefit from the vision of this exceptional lady. Her memory lives on in the hearts and minds of those of us who call her friend and ‘Pilot Sister,’ Julia concluded.

Cindy W. McCranie, an emergency medical technician, worked under Mrs. Vickie as the Cheeks’ ambulance service, Heartland EMS. She said,”She always had a smile on her face, and always seemed happy to see you.”

“I am going to miss her hugs at work,” Cindy concluded.

“Winter Wonderland was created out of an idea that her husband, Bill thought of, and Vickie ran with it and presented it to our Pilot Club. During the five years, thousands of people have passed through the warehouse and received some joy of Christmas,” Melinda J. Bryant said.

Sandy Jarrett summed all of our feelings up pretty well about Mrs. Vickie, and her passing. She said, “Cochran will feel her absence.”

Our sympathy and prayers are with her husband, their family and the Heartland EMS family.

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