Car Racing 06
Official Obituary of

Kyle Cheeseman

July 15, 1958 ~ February 21, 2024 (age 65) 65 Years Old

Kyle Cheeseman Obituary

 Edward Kyle Cheeseman runner-up at the National Hot Rod Association Southern Nationals in Atlanta, Georgia. Granted, that was in the 1980s, but he’d much rather be remembered for that achievement than the fact that he died unexpectedly at home from natural causes on February 21, 2024. Although his life was cut short at 65, he lived it to the fullest, fueled by his deep love for family, friends and motorsports, especially drag racing.

To say that motorsports was his great love is an understatement. Kyle's passion for drag racing grew after having his first daughter, as it offered a safer alternative to other motorsports - fewer broken collar bones and collapsed lungs. Weekends were spent at the racetrack with his father, Butch,  and his Poodle, Lady, serving as his pit crew. His youngest daughter, Hannah, would join them, though she preferred watching VHS tapes in the trailer and enjoying concession stand treats over the on-track action. His oldest daughter, Beth, took up the sport in college to spend more time with him. Kyle's pride peaked when Beth reached the semi-finals in one class driving the front-engine dragster while he won another in his rear-engine dragster.

Kyle marched to the beat of his own drummer, which is a polite way to say he didn’t give a rip what anyone thought of what he did or said.  He wore a motorcycle t-shirt in his senior picture instead of a suit. He loved AC/DC, Eminem, and had a soft spot for Tom Petty’s “Top of the World” and The Rolling Stones’ “Sympathy For The Devil.” He had a penchant for inappropriate comments that made his daughters blush brighter than a tomato.  He thought his late dog Lady was human and no other dog after (and there have been lots) could compare. 

He loved food, with a particular fondness for his mother’s gumbo and Coca-Cola Classic. He shared many frozen burritos with his daughters and had an unusual habit of washing potatoes with soap and water. He was always the last one at the table to finish his meal and fussed if anyone tried to take away his plate.

His thoughtfulness was evident when he bought his daughter, Hannah, a new car for her high school graduation, traveling by Greyhound bus to Dallas retrieve it.

Kyle had a unique way of addressing people with the friendly phrases "Hey now” and “Yello.” He had a habit of walking around with a half-chewed paper towel hanging out of his mouth.  He said whatever he thought and spent a decent amount of time harassing Walmart employees about the fact that he was expected to use the self checkout for no compensation.  He thought nothing smelled better than nitromethane. He was wicked smart and could build or fix just about anything. He loved pranks – especially scaring the neighborhood kids on Halloween by hiding in the gutter “IT style” grabbing ankles as they walked by and jumping out of the bushes with a bladeless chainsaw. He enjoyed indulging in the finer things with his beloved niece, Krista.  He thought his sisters Connie and Kayla were the two funniest people in the world.  And he would tell anyone who would listen how proud he was of his daughters and their accomplishments.

Kyle and his wife Zandra shared a love for dancing that began in their early dating years. Together, they loved going out to eat and cherished quiet evenings spent watching movies and TV shows. Despite Kyle's fervor for drag racing and persistent attempts to recruit her, Zandra wasn't particularly interested in joining the pit crew. She understood his passion and encouraged him to pursue and enjoy it. 

Though 65 years may seem too short for any life, Kyle did a lot of living. He was a proud employee of the US Fish and Wildlife Service for nearly 40 years and fought forest fires across the country. He rode dirt bikes with his grandsons in California, spent many summers taking his granddaughter, Kaylee, to the pool, "chaperoned" the CHS Class of 2001 senior trip to Cancun, and spent an unforgettable night drinking Irish car bombs with his daughters at a piano bar.

Kyle's lifelong friends, like Terry Gilbert, remained an integral part of his life. On his last day, he spent time with Terry working on a front-engine dragster body he recently purchased, a testament that he was doing what he loved until the very end.

Left to deal with 60 years of race car parts, hot rod magazines, and tools (and to cherish his memory) are his wife of 27 years, Zandra; his mother, Jean; his daughters Beth Cheeseman (Bob Foertsch) of Costa Mesa, California and Hannah Cheeseman (Austin Pantall) of Bentonville; his stepsons Michael Brent Watkins (Kathy) of Henderson, Texas and Kevin Morris (Toni) of Southhaven, Mississippi, his sisters Connie Hutson (Steve) and Kayla Noble (Greg); his grandchildren Sawyer (17), Liam (13), Elle (11), Justin (28), Kaylee (17), Blaine (15), Aubrey (10), and Paisley (6); his nieces Krista, Allison, Anna, Alex, Meredith (Connie was busy), Garrett, and Katie; his beloved gaggle of dogs Bear, Dolly, Myra, and Patty. He was preceded in death by his best friend and Dad, John “Butch” Cheeseman.

Pallbearers are Terry Gilbert, Gary Booker, Ted Justice, Lance Hanry, Greg Noble, and Steve Hutson.

Visitation will be Sunday, February 25 at 2pm at Jones Funeral Chapel followed by a graveside service at Crossroads Cemetery at 3:15.  Kyle hated suits and formal attire, so the family asks those attending to wear motorsports or rock band t-shirts or anything else befitting the life he lived – just nothing stuffy.

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Kyle Cheeseman, please visit our floral store.

 Service Program

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February 25, 2024

2:00 PM to 3:00 PM
Jones Funeral Home Chapel
105 West Third Avenue
Crossett, AR 71635

Graveside Service
February 25, 2024

3:15 PM
Crossroads Cemetery
Ashley 12 W
Crossett, AR 71635


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