Cheryl (Gratkowski) Fontaine

January 8, 1952 ~ February 23, 2020 (age 68)

Obituary Image


Cheryl Fontaine (née Gratkowski), a resident of Waynesboro, Virginia, died on Friday the 7th of February, 2020, in her home.

Born in 1952 in Eugene, Oregon, Cheryl received a Bachelor of Science in Education with Biological Sciences from Oregon State University in 1974.  Cheryl taught and was a team lead in elementary and middle schools in Washington state for eight years.  She had additional careers as an engineering technician in the state of Washington, a marketing coordinator in Arizona and Virginia, and a medical transcriptionist in Virginia.  She was a member of the Eckankar clergy, a position in which she took great joy.

Throughout her life, she was most particularly an artist, exhibiting her oil paintings in galleries in North Carolina, Virginia, and Washington.  Cheryl stated that her work “is about harmony and the intimacy of life.  It explores the gentleness of the universe through essential light.”

In addition to her art, Cheryl loved tea and anything to do with France.  For more than 40 years, she and her daughter would go out for tea or enjoy tea at home.  In May 1998, Cheryl fulfilled a lifelong dream and traveled to Paris and Provence.  One of her most delightful remembrances from this trip was being mistaken for a Parisian in a café.  She later made another trip to Paris with her daughter, followed by trips to Brazil, England, and the Dominican Republic.

She is survived by her daughter, Elizabeth Autry, as well as her brother, Robert Gratkowski, and sister, Susan Pentecost.

In accordance with her wishes, no memorial service will be held.  Her ashes will be scattered in the Blue Ridge Mountains to help wildflowers grow.  Memorial gifts may be made to Smile Train.

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Cheryl (Gratkowski) Fontaine, please visit our floral store.


At her request there will be no services.


Smile Train
633 Third Avenue, 9th Floor, New York NY 10017
Tel: 1-800-932-9541

© 2021 Charlton and Groome Funeral Home and Crematory, Inc.. All Rights Reserved. Funeral Home website by CFS & TA | Terms of Use | Privacy Policy