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Ferrence remembered as quiet pillar of community

Local volunteer and previous chamber executive Cheryl Ferrence died at the age of 67 on July 11.

Although her late husband, former Boulder Dam Credit Union manager Bill Ferrence was more public, and has his name on the area in front of the bank and the flag at the high school gym, Cheryl was a quiet, behind-the-scenes personality driving community causes.

Cheryl was an active volunteer and the former museum director at the Boulder Dam Hotel, former executive director at the Chamber of Commerce, and author of “Images of America: Around Boulder City.” The book was written about 75 years of development of Hoover Dam and Boulder City on behalf of the Boulder City Museum and Historical Association. A postcard book with 15 images was also released.

Cheryl and Bill Ferrence were extremely involved in the community. The couple were driving forces behind the Hoover Dam Museum and Historical Association together for more than 40 years. They were also said to have saved the Boulder Dam Hotel from closing 20 years ago. The broad historical background of the town enthused Cheryl, and she made it a big part of her life.

The Ferrences had two sons, Will and Jim, who gave their parents four grandchildren: Billy, Carmela, Jack and Giacoma.

Cheryl never “formally retired,” son Jim said. “She continued to be active with the Museum and Historical Association right up until she passed away.”

Local attorney and former County Commissioner Bruce Woodbury had known Cheryl for many years.

“We became friends many, many years ago. Our sons were best of friends.” Woodbury said. “They played on the Boulder City High School basketball team together.”

Woodbury thinks her work may have at times been overlooked, and she will be missed dearly in the community.

“Cheryl Ferrence was one of the sweetest, finest women that you could ever get to know,” Woodbury said. “She was so kind and generous and community minded. I think people are not fully aware of the great impact she had in the community with working behind the scenes to preserve and protect the heritage of the community, particularly with the Boulder Dam Hotel and museum where she has donated hundreds of hours.”

Local Realtor Bret Runion has known the Ferrence family for many years. Will Ferrence and Runion had been friends since the sixth grade, and graduated from high school together.

“Cheryl has definitely left her fingerprints on this community, and especially the museum,” Runion said. “She was a donor of artifacts, money, and time to the museum. She was a major contributor in every aspect of that museum, which also helps keep the hotel open. Cheryl was a significant contributor financially for the museum and the hotel, and she certainly played the part of keeping the property open at different points in time.”

Stacy Provenza, owner of the antique shop Younique, remembers her friend of more than 20 years to be appreciated not only by her friends and family, but the community.

“Cheryl was loved by so many people, including myself,” Provenza said. “She was an amazing friend, mom, grandma, and wife. She contributed so much to the community and made such an impact … she will be missed.”

Cheryl was born in Bath, N.Y., and was raised in Hobart, Ind. She attended college at South Bend College of Commerce, where she met Bill, who was attending University of Notre Dame. Before Cheryl graduated with a secretarial science degree, they married in January 1966. The couple moved to Boulder City in 1974. At the time of Bill’s death in November 2010, they had been married for 44 years.

A private service was held at the Boulder City Cemetery on Wednesday. A public remembrance will be at the Boulder Dam Hotel at a time and date yet to be determined.

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