Mary Barksdale Cherna, 27, died at her home in Denver, Colorado on December 16. The daughter of Courtney Warrick and Andrew Rankin Cherna of Manhattan, Mary is survived by her brother, Andrew Rankin Cherna of Davis, California; her sister, Regan Warrick Cherna of New York City; and her grandmothers, Anne Rankin Kline of Cleveland, Ohio and Janet Anderson Warrick of Ann Arbor, MI. She was predeceased by her grandfathers, Woodward A Warrick Jr. and Andrew K. Cherna; as well as an aunt, Cecily Barksdale Warrick.
A graduate of Trinity College in Hartford, CT, Mary attended the Bronxville School before graduating from Deerfield Academy, a school that meant the world to her because of the friendships she formed there with both faculty and students.
Beloved for her wry sense of humor, loyal support of friends, and unwavering determination, Mary was an avid reader, writer, and athlete, who loved to ski and spent a season working at Stratton resort in Vermont and another at HF Bar Ranch in Saddle String, Wyoming. A passionate animal advocate who supported animal rights organizations, one of her life’s goals was to visit the elephant preserve in Chang Mai, Thailand, which she did before her 21st birthday. “I even went inside a cage with a tiger!” she told her family after the trip.
While at Trinity, Mary spent a semester in Prague where she studied European history. A good student and thoughtful friend, Mary was poised to enter a life full of potential when she began her long and courageous battle against the disease of addiction. With each hard-won recovery she expressed gratitude for the promise of a fresh start. The family wishes to thank the many friends who never stopped loving and supporting Mary through her difficult journey.
A private memorial service will be held on December 24 at Christ Church Bronxville. Those who wish may leave the family condolences at www.mcgrathandson.com
Memorial contributions in honor of Mary may be made to Deerfield Academy, 7 Boyden Lane, PO Box 306, Deerfield, MA 01342.