George Turner Cherry, 34, died on Sunday, April 23, 2023, after a 3 ½ year battle with colon cancer.
He was born to George C. Cherry and Mary Kathryn Turner Cherry on May 19, 1988. Turner was an Eagle Scout, a graduate of Appomattox Regional Governor’s School, and an entrepreneur. His first venture was to form a taxi-cab company, which he ran successfully for several years before selling it. The cab company taught him many things he would use in his next venture, starting a residential contracting company.
Blue Collar Prodigy, LLC took off almost immediately. As a Class A contractor, Turner did all types of residential building, repair, and restoration. And business boomed. Then came the cancer diagnosis and the ultimate end of Blue Collar.
Turner was known for his incredible memory and analytical mind. He could read complex legal documents just one time, understand them and retain what he had read. He could maneuver around and through contracts and statutes as skillfully as many attorneys and was fearless before judges (“They are just people”), and he loved to argue.
Turner’s total immersion in anything that caught his interest was legend, and you never knew what that thing might be. He could expound on topics as varied as the angle of threads on screws and the differences between alligator and common snapping turtles. He would regale — if not overwhelm — his audience with his vast knowledge of many things.
Particularly if those things involved any facet of construction, tools, machinery, or motor vehicles. He could repair or build virtually anything around the home. He did know his limitations though; plumbing he hated, and for electricity, he had a healthy respect. High-tech items were off-limits.
Turner loved being a family man, and it was for his wife, Michell Goodwin Cherry, and daughter, Sidney Michelle Louise Cherry, that he fought so hard to stay alive. When first told he had a year to live, he looked for other doctors. He found them and underwent major surgery, followed by the most aggressive chemotherapy available and radiation therapy.
Armed with a deep determination and unwavering dedication to understanding the minutiae of his very complicated illness, Turner never retreated, allowing his medical team to experiment with unconventional methods, harsh chemo regimes and cutting-edge clinical trials. One of these was a clinical trial for which only a tiny percentage of colon cancer patients are genetically suited. His participation provided data that should go a long way toward finding a cure for the disease.
This willingness to live, despite the unknown, saw him fully outlive his original prognosis. His impressive ability to confront his mortality with courage, gratitude, and spiritual awareness, leaves an awe-inspiring legacy of unmatched courage and resilience that will continue to inspire the many young adults diagnosed with advanced cancer.
He is survived by his wife, Michelle; daughter, Sidney; mother, Mary Kay; father, George; mother-in-law, Barbara Goodwin; and stepmother, Corinne Barbour Cherry.
The family wishes to express its gratitude to the doctors, nurses, and staff of the VCU Cancer Center and of the University of Virginia School of Medicine.
In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to the GoFundMe account: Sidney Cherry Higher Education Account.
A Celebration of Life will be held at 3:00 p.m. on Thursday, May 4, 2023, at Affinity Funeral Service, 2720 Enterprise Pkwy, Richmond, VA 23294.