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Cheryl Ann Luft, 64, of Southfield

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By Thursday, Jan 24, 2019 Obituaries 1

Cheryl Ann Luft, 64 years young, passed peacefully in the early morning hours of Dec. 28, 2018, at the Jamaica Hospital Medical Center Hospice in Queens, New York, after a long battle with cancer.

Cheryl Ann Luft

Cheryl was born May 2, 1954, in the Bronx, New York. She was the only daughter and oldest child of Nathan and Dorothy Luft. She attended Westchester Day School in Mamaroneck, New York, where she graduated in 1968. She then attended Valhalla High School in Valhalla, New York, and Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri, where she earned degrees in art history and animal behavior.

Cheryl then continued her education at the Laban Institute of Movement Studies and the School for Body-Mind Centering, pursuing certification in movement therapy, which led her to start her own practice called Moving Into Well-Being. Cheryl also studied with the Movement of Spiritual Inner Awareness and became a minister.

Cheryl and John Marinelli were married in the spring of 1993. They remained together until his passing in 1999.

Cheryl was an Israeli folk dance enthusiast, having taught at the Isabella Freedman Jewish Retreat Center’s summer camp in Falls Village, Connecticut. She was also an avid photographer, bird watcher, dog lover and first responder volunteer. Her business CalmLightNow Photography created art and greeting cards that featured her love of nature and photography. She also loved to travel and made trips to Israel, Central America and Europe over the years. Cheryl had a strong sense of community and wanted to give back to the many causes she supported.

Cheryl was a resident of Southfield for over 25 years. She also lived in the West Village in New York City; Portland, Oregon; Yakima, Washington; and Washington, D.C.

She is survived by her mother, and her brothers Brian and Harvey.

Funeral services were held Sunday, Dec. 30, 2018, at the Plaza Jewish Community Chapel in New York City. The burial was in Greenwich, Connecticut, at the KTI Cemetery on Memory Lane, the cemetery where her father was laid to rest.

Cheryl will be missed by her family and the many friends she made throughout the years.


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  1. Jennifer Clark says:

    It was wonderful to be in Cheryl’s upbeat, energetic presence and witness her no-BS take on just about everything. She was an inspiration and a source of delight – and she was my roommate numerous occasions at dance events. What a hoot we all had! We will miss this talented, determined, creative dancer, photographer and pursuer of beauty.

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