Dr. Cherie Kartchner Woodworth

Dr. Cherie Kartchner Woodworth Dr. Cherie Kartchner Woodworth, beloved daughter, sister, wife and mother, passed from this life to the next on July 23, 2013, in New Haven, Conn., after a brief battle with cancer. She was 46.

Cherie was born on Sept. 3, 1966, in Riverside, Calif., the daughter of Ned and Patricia Kartchner of Ridgecrest. She was an excellent student, attending first grade through high school in Ridgecrest. At age 17 she began her university studies at Brigham Young University, where she majored in the Russian language and literature, graduating in 1986. While at BYU, she met Bradley Woodworth in a Russian-language class. They were married on Dec. 18, 1985. They have two children, Zoe, 10, and Axel, 8.

Cherie completed her master’s degree in Russian and Soviet area studies at Harvard University in 1989, then spent the next year and a half in Soviet-era Estonia, where she studied at the Estonian Humanities Institute (now part of Tallinn University). She worked as a journalist for an English-language newspaper, the Estonian Independent. In 1991-1992 she worked in Prague, Czechoslovakia/Czech Republic, in the administration of the Central European University. Her studies and travel helped solidify her academic interest in Eastern Europe and its history.

In fall 1992 she began doctoral studies in history at Indiana University; in 1995 she transferred to Yale University, which remained her scholarly and intellectual home. Her Ph.D. thesis was on the importance of kinship and genealogical ties among the Russian nobility in the 15th and 16th centuries.

After completing her Ph.D. at Yale, she published widely in leading history journals, was a visiting professor at Wesleyan University, Fairfield University and Yale summer school, where she was teaching at the time of her passing. She also held a yearlong lectureship and was a post-doctoral affiliate in medieval studies at Yale.

Cherie was active in her local community in New Haven; she organized very successful neighborhood street festivals in 2011 and 2012 in the East Rock neighborhood. She loved being with her children and working with them on school projects. This past spring she directed the cultivation of a plot of land on the school grounds and its planting with tulips—a project of which she was particularly proud.

Cherie is survived by her husband Bradley Woodworth, children Zoe and Axel, parents Ned and Patricia Kartchner of Ridgecrest, sister Kelly Carter and husband Russell of Santa Ana, and brothers Michael and wife Luciene of Midlothian, Texas, and Steven and wife Andrea of West Richland, Wash.

Goodbye, Cherie, we will miss you.

Submitted by the family of Dr. Cherie Kartchner Woodworth

Story First Published: 2013-08-28