Cherie Ann Clodfelter

November 28, 1930 - March 4, 2017
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Professor Emerita Cherie A. Clodfelter

The University of Dallas mourns the loss of a beloved colleague and friend with the sudden, unexpected passing of Dr. Cherie Clodfelter, Professor Emerita in the Education Department. Cherie died Saturday morning at home. Her “beloved” brother Ron was with her. Born in Bartlesville, Oklahoma, Cherie earned her bachelor’s degree from Oklahoma State University where she was a proud member of Kappa Delta Sorority. She earned her Ph.D. from Texas Woman’s University. Professor Clodfelter was an exemplary teacher who was renowned for her wit, her spunk, her mission of “educating” teachers, and most of all, for her deep concern for students. She taught at the University of Dallas from 1970 until her retirement in 2007. During that time, she rose through the ranks to full professor and Dean of Education. She was named a King Scholar, a Minnie Stevens Piper Professor, and College Teacher of the Decade by the International Reading Association. She was born in Bartlesville, Oklahoma to Clifford R. and Beatrice Goyer Clodfelter. Both preceded her in death. She is survived by one brother, C. Ronald Clodfelter and her cousins Mrs. Dorthea Goodwin, Fort Worth, Texas and Mr. Guy Goodwin of Houston.
The entire Dallas-Ft. Worth area is richer with knowledgeable, capable, and caring teachers because of the sweat and tears, motivation and honesty, and love and concern from Cherie. She influenced hundreds of teachers through one-on-one discussions, compassionate guidance, and involvement in their lives as students and future teachers. Cherie’s favorite axiom was “Know your dogs,” meaning that any teacher must know her/his students—their strengths, their weaknesses, the areas for improvements, and their fields for success. In class, Cherie would not simply allow her students the opportunity to participate, she compelled them to do – by challenging their thinking, their gut reactions, and their very cores.
An inspiration to the generations of students she taught from the elementary school to the university, she was an innovator, a person of keen intellect, and notable for her directness and fun loving personality. Her last book, Books That All Children Should Hear and Read: Perpetuating the Stories, published in 2007 at the time of her retirement, reflects all that Dr. Clodfelter believed in and practiced. She instituted the Clodecott Award for the outstanding children’s literature book written by a student each year in the children’s literature class and created an endowed scholarship fund for education majors.
Besides being a most effective teacher, Cherie was a scholar in the areas of reading and children’s literature. She developed the eighteen-volume Reading Basal Series, published by Harper and Row, received several grants from the National Science Foundation and U.S. Department of Education, contributed to the Art of Living Well: A Values Based Curriculum, and researched the oral traditions and storytelling of the Jicarilla Apaches of New Mexico. From 1982 until 2003, she published a bi-monthly column “Children and Their Books” for The Dallas Morning News. Cherie’s work as a children’s book reviewer helped her to establish and grow the Cherie A. Clodfelter Child and Young Adult Library on the campus of the University of Dallas. The 15,000 volumes in this library are housed on campus in the Department of Education.
Cherie established several programs at the University of Dallas that allowed its teacher education program to be emulated throughout the United States. Under her guidance, teacher education became just that, an education not a training (for, in her words, “training is what you do with seals”) with a solid understanding of the liberal arts that provide the basic elements in a quality teacher education program.
Students, faculty, and staff knew of her good-natured antics on campus. She always spoke her mind and stuck to her convictions even when what she had to say may have been unpopular or something others did not wish to hear. For years on the Faculty Senate, she represented a voice of balance, harmony, and good sense.
Cherie was involved in her community of Irving. Besides being known by all principals in the area, she was active in Sunrise Rotary, Irving/Las Colinas Chamber of Commerce, Las Colinas Women’s Association, the Irving School District, and Woodhaven Presbyterian Church among other organizations with civic or religious orientations. Cherie was respected by business and community leaders alike and in 1999 she was named Woman of the Year by the Irving Chamber of Commerce. Her work and recognition continuously brought honor and distinction to the University of Dallas.
Cherie always reminded her students and colleagues that teachers affect eternity. Indeed many in the University community thought that Cherie would live forever. She will continue to live in the hearts and souls of those who cherished her love for and joy in teaching. The University of Dallas is a better university because of Professor Clodfelter’s contributions.
Cherie wanted everyone to know that several individuals made her life very enjoyable: her “beloved” brother, Ron, Mrs. Barbara Khirallah, her husband Ray and daughter Rachel, Dr. Richard Olenick, and Dr. Christopher Shelton. In lieu of flowers contributions can be made to the Clodfelter Endowed Scholarships, University of Dallas that she established in 2009.
A Memorial Service is scheduled for Thursday, March 9, 2017 at 11:00 a.m. at Woodhaven Presbyterian Church, 3650 N O'Connor Rd, Irving, TX 75062. Mr. Grady King and Dr. Rev. Alan Baroody will officiate.

Service Information

Date: March 9, 2017
Time: 11:00 am

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The Hortons - Scott, Pam, Amber & Sean
Colleyville, TX
Words cannot express how sad we are to lose such a special lady.  Cherie was like family to us, always welcomed us with open arms and lots of great stories about the past.  She will be deeply missed by all .  Heaven gained one special angel .  Our thoughts and prayers are with you Ron.

Scott, Pam, Amber & Sean Horton
Dick Comstock
Irving, TX
Cherie will be sorely missed by all her fellow Rotarians for uncountable reasons.
Dr. Donna Webb
Dundee, OR
Cherie was THE faculty member at UD that believed in me and saw my potential in becoming an educator. Because of Cherie's guidance, I became a teacher and went on to achieve my doctorate degree in education. Cherie will always have a special place in my heart.
Haley Bruce
Dallas, TX
Dr. Clodfelter taught me to always reflect on my teaching, always reflect on my students. I continue to do that to this day. I hope it serves them well.

Rest in peace Dr. Clodfelter. We will miss you.
Diana Fambro
Sent Flowers in memory of Cherie Ann Clodfelter
Gina Morrison
Grand Prairie, TX
I was in education for 30 years. Her influence was a constant in my teaching career and I was better for it. She will be greatly missed.
Theresa Khirallah and Dorothy Eggering
Bedford, TX
Cherie will be dearly missed by our family and most especially those who she taught at the University of Dallas. Cherie was a blessing and gift both as an educator and mentor to so many including family.  Ron, prayers and support always, love, Theresa and Dorothy
Carrie Wofford Reynolds
Irving, TX
Dr. Clodfelter was a joy.  I learned so much from her about how to be effective in a classroom, especially how to read to your students to get them involved.  She also touched my life on a personal level.  Her advice and conversations were always uplifting, and I remember each time I left her office with a smile and a memory.
Laurie Johansen
Grapevine, TX
I am so grateful that I had the honor of being Dr Clodfelter's classes when I attended UD to become certified in elementary ed. Her high standards and expectations made me the teacher I became. I will never forget her.
Sandra Walker
Sent Flowers in memory of Cherie Ann Clodfelter
Rose Cannaday
Irving, TX
Cherie was such a warm, funny, and thoughtful individual.  She touched so many lives in various ways, and her loss will be felt.  She was a delight to be around and I'm so grateful that I had the opportunity to know her.  God bless.
Karen Martinsen Upton
Dallas, TX
As a new teacher, just graduated from the University of Dallas, I was assigned to teach at Brandenburg Elementary in Irving.  Cherie was a teacher there at the time.  She became a mentor to me.  I will always remember her for her kindness and the way she shared ideas.  I am saddened to hear of her passing.
Terri Fullerton
Abilene, TX
Cherie changed the trajectory of my life. I am sad to hear of the loss. For some reason (FB maybe?) I thought she was in Arizona. I have been so sad but I also recall the sweet memories.
Marylee Boarman
Charleston, SC
I am saddened to hear of Cherie's passing. She was my mentor, and her unique wisdom has been my touchstone for the past 40 years in the classroom. To this day, when confronted with a difficult situation with my students, I ask myself what Cherie would tell me to do. She will continue to be my guide.
Lorie Lee Travi
Garland, TX
I am grateful I had the chance to attend her classes and work in the Education Department at UD.
Erin Ferguson
Seabrook, TX
The world is less bright without Dr. Clodfelter. She had a huge impact on my education at UD, so much so I found myself taking as many classes from her as I could. I was an English major, so I wish I could have to,d her I became a teacher. I have gotten better over the years at "knowing my dogs," but know my students always teach me more than I do them. She was a classy, memorable lady full of verve. I was blessed to be her student...
Janet Hemming
Kilmarnock, VA
I was a 2nd grade student of Cherie's. It was her first year teaching and it was my first year in public school. We formed a bond that has lasted all these years.( I'm now 67) We exchanged Christmas cards every year. I was blessed to have known her and although I had not seen her in years, I will miss her greatly.
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