A Service Celebrating the Life of Donald C. “Don” Cheeks, Jr. will be held at one o’clock p.m., Wednesday, November 30, 2022 at Christian Heritage Church, 285 Ascauga Lake Rd., Graniteville, SC 29829 with the Reverends Stephen Phillips and David Turner officiating. The service will be Live-Streamed on our Official Folk Funeral Home - Live Stream Facebook page. Family and friends are invited to visit from five to eight p.m., Tuesday, November 29th at Newberry Hall, 117 Newberry St., SW, Aiken, SC 29801. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be given in Don’s memory to The Gifting Tree, 1112 Eastwood Ct., Aiken, SC 29801 (giftingtree.org) or St. Jude, The Memorial and Honor Program, St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital, 501 St. Jude Place, Memphis, TN 38105 (stjude.org). Don passed away on Sunday, November 20, 2022.
Born in Augusta, GA, on April 11, 1944, he was the son of the late Donald Clarence Cheeks, Sr. and Evelyn Widener Cheeks. After working as a machinist and later the operations manager at Southeastern Tool Company for more than 20 years, Don bought the company in 1985 and expanded the business to include Southeastern Systems. He served as company president until 2020, and thereafter acted in a consulting role. The company won the Greater Aiken Chamber of Commerce Small Business of the Year award in 2011. He was a member of Mt. Calvary Baptist Church in Elko.
Don was known throughout the community for his commitment to a variety of charities, including The Gifting Tree, which he and his wife, Annie, founded in 2018. Prior to that he was active in the Central Chapter Board of the American Red Cross and served as the Chairman of Aiken’s Chapter for many years. In addition, a few charities he was active with include Area Churches Together Serving (ACTS) of Aiken, The Disabled Veterans of America, Special Olympics, Children’s Place, and the Connie Maxwell Children’s Home. One of the causes dearest to him was St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.
In 2020, Don was featured in the Sunday Best section of The Aiken Standard. In it he shared a philosophy his grandfather and role model shared with him. “You only come into the world with your name, and you only leave it with your name. It’s what you do in between that matters.” His advice to those with a desire to serve: “Have a passion for helping others; be passionate about what you’re doing; and be ready to put in some hard work.”
Survivors include his wife, Annie R. Cheeks; his children, Teri (King) Laurence of Aiken, SC, Lee (Kim) Cheeks of Graniteville, SC, and Christian (Jim) Mathis of Aiken, SC; six grandchildren, Sydnie Laurence, Sarah Laurence, Taylor (Austin) Scott, Corley Cheeks, James Donald “JD” Mathis, and Emma Mathis, and his four-legged girls, Co Co and Mocha. The family would like to extend a heart-felt thank you to Christy Duren for all of her compassion, care, and kindness shown to Don over the last few months.
In addition to his parents, Don was preceded in death by his grandparents, George W. and Ann Burckhalter and his sister, Kathy Courtney.
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