Dr. Joseph N. Cheek
  • 63 years old
  • Date of birth: May 18, 1951
  • Place of birth:
    Longview, Texas, United States
  • Date of passing: Aug 4, 2014
  • Place of passing:
    Dallas, Texas, United States
In loving memory of Joe, wonderful husband, best friend, mentor, soul mate, devoted father and inspiration to many.

Dr. Joseph N. Cheek, M.D, passed away on Monday August 4th, 2014 at the age of 63. Born in Longview, Texas on May 18th, 1951, to parents Jose Cheek and Alma Cheek (Leach) Joe lived the majority of his life in Dallas, TX. A true renaissance spirit, Joe was a voracious student of literature, history, the arts and sciences rarely engaging in a book he didn't enjoy. Joe had a passion for food & wine, was additionally a gifted cook, artist, film buff with an appreciation for music that spanned all forms of jazz, rock, world & global genres, and classical. He graduated from SMU with a bachelor's in electrical and systems engineering. Joe subsequently attended the University of Texas at Galveston medical school where he received his doctorate in medicine specializing in general & thoracic surgery, and completing his degree as chief resident. Throughout an extended valiant battle with a rare neurodegenerative disease, multiple system atrophy (MSA), Joe inspired everyone he encountered by giving new meaning to the concept of dignity and class. He was a devoted husband who will be missed deeply by his wife, best friend and soul mate, Celina. A loving and equally devoted father to daughter Alexandra "Alex" Cheek, he was an uncommonly unique teacher and mentor to both his family and extended family and friends. It would be remiss to not acknowledge one of Joe's most devoted friends, his 9 year old wheaten terrier, Frederick "Fred" Cheek who has spent every day of his life by his side particularly on those recent days when the losses associated with MSA were most challenging. Dr. Cheek is survived by his wife, daughter, sister Mary (Cheek) Belden, brother-in-law Russ Belden, nephew Jonathan Belden, mother-in-law Paquita Mueller and cousins across the pond. Joe's high quality of life while adapting to the losses associated with his illness could not be accomplished without the dedicated resources provided by his immediate family to also include "Team Joe" caregiving team members orchestrated by his wife and led by his mother-in-law who prepared any Food Network dish requested 5 days a week, and relentlessly dedicated care-givers Juanita, Erica and September. The family will host a Celebration of Life event at the Meadows Museum, SMU Dallas on Sunday, September 7th at 2 pm. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Multiple System Atrophy Research Fund.

Memorial Tributes
This tribute was added by jean guidone on 4th August 2015

"A wonderful human being who left this world too soon. Rest  in peace Joe."

This tribute was added by Sue Blackmore on 4th August 2015

"I'm thinking of Joe today, looking at some of the photos here and enjoying happy memories of years and decades ago.
Thinking also of you Celina,
with love,

This tribute was added by Celina Burns on 14th August 2014

"A huge hole has been created in the lives of all of us who knew Joe Cheek, a truly special human being whose giant heart and passionate spirit made the world a much better place.  May his memory be a comfort and blessing to you, Celina, Alex, Paquita and all of us.  With much love, Marguerite and Ted"

This tribute was added by Clark Randall on 12th August 2014


Joe was such an incredibly wonderful man.  I can honestly say that never heard him say a single negative thing in the sixteen years I knew him.  He was also a renaissance man.  He loved cooking, wine, art and ... he shared with me a love for fountain pens!

I will truly miss him.


This tribute was added by jean guidone on 12th August 2014

"Celina,I am so sorry to hear about Joe's passing. My heart goes out to you and the family for your loss.  He will be sincerely missed by all who knew him. He was a wonderful man and a great physician.  May he rest in peace."

This tribute was added by Jeff Wagner on 11th August 2014

"May Joe now rest in eternal peace, in God's care, free from earthly suffering that he bore with dignity and faith.  And may God be with Joe's daughter, Celina, and Paquita, Fred, and all of the others who knew and loved "Dr. Joe" ............ Jeff Wagner"

This tribute was added by bruce perkins on 10th August 2014

"Celina,mI am so sorry to learn of Joe's passing. Please know that I was asking Pattie Dale about you last week. I will keep Alex and you in my prayers.
God Bless


This tribute was added by william barnes on 10th August 2014

"Dear Celina

My heart goes out to you on the loss of Joe. I know how much he  meant to you and the rest of your family.  Cherish the time you had together and the memories of him you will care the rest of your life!

God Bless

This tribute was added by Donn Bleau on 10th August 2014

"Celina--the numerous times you shared stories about you and Joe and Alex allowed me to have a special glimpse of just how good a man he was. In spite of the huge challenges you were dealt as a family the love and respect was so very evident in your words, eyes and heart. My prayers are with you and your family."

This tribute was added by jasmine gannon on 10th August 2014

"Dear Celina,
I'd like to tell you about a great man that I cared for so much. He was such a big soul; smart, funny, sweet and kind. At the beginning we "fought" the disease, at the end I just tried to make him fill better. No matter how much his body was declining I was amazed by the brilliance of his mind. He was so much more than a client with challenges. For me, Joe was that one person that changes you forever. His perspective, his insight and his sense of humor are to stay with me forever. I am so grateful for every minute I have spent in his presence. I will miss him very, very much. So, I have lost a dear friend. And you have lost so much more. I'm truly sorry. Love, Jasmine"

This tribute was added by Coni Bornemann on 10th August 2014

"I worked with Dr. Cheek 20 years ago but I have never forgotten his compassion and kindness. He encouraged me through a time of personal health issues and I am glad to hear he was surrounded by such love and support in his struggles. He was such a kind man. You have incredible friends and family, Celina and Alex. My sympathy in your loss."

This tribute was added by Juanita Craddock on 9th August 2014

Thank you for sharing Joe with me, It truly was a joy being his caregiver and being able to spend time with him. Joe was a very caring compasionate man and your family will always hold a special place in my heart.

Juanita and family"

This tribute was added by randy viator on 9th August 2014

"Truly a wonderful, compassionate,  and gentle man. He was a friend to all and any interaction with him was sure to give you a smile in your heart. This remarkable man will never be forgotten. His legacy will live  on though his many gifts and good deeds. Eternal rest grant unto him O Lord and let light perpetual shine upon him. In fond memory and much admiration,  Randy Viator"

This tribute was added by sheri pixley on 9th August 2014


My heart pours out to you and your daughter in the loss of your dear loving husband and father.  You all went through an incredible journey together and the love and support you gave Joe, especially over these past few years, made a difference in his life and yours.  He is no longer  in pain and I believe is in a better place now.  Please let me know how I can help support you in this very difficult time of loss.   You are in my thoughts and prayers.

Sheri Pixley"

This tribute was added by Sheila Maples on 9th August 2014

I am very sorry for your loss.  You and your family are in my prayers.  I worked with you both at Sanus/NYLCare, and Aetna.  Dr. Cheek was a very compassionate person.  He had a smile that no one could ever forget.

Sheila Maples"

This tribute was added by Mary Guillory on 8th August 2014

"Dear Celina,
I am so very sorry for your loss! I will always remember Dr Cheek's smile and his wonderful sense of humor! He was a wonderful person! Keeping you and Alex and all who love him in my thoughts and prayers!!
Mary Guillory"

This tribute was added by dan brajtbord on 8th August 2014

I was lucky to get to know you and Joe, thru Sharon, for several years before moving to Colorado.  Joe's courage and spirit and your love and devotion was truly inspirational. I know joe is looking down at you, Fred and Alex with that special smile on his face. You are in my thoughts and prayers.  
Dan B"

This tribute was added by Steve Habgood on 8th August 2014


What a wonderful man, husband, father and friend Joe was.  Our hearts go out to you, and hope you can find comfort and solace in all the wonderful memories. It was an honor to get to know Joe and our thoughts and prayers are with you and Alex.


This tribute was added by Nancy Tao on 8th August 2014

Sending prayers and thoughts to you and your family.  Joe was an incredible man and I will remember him when we worked at Aetna.  He always had funny and interesting stories to share.  He will be missed by all and will continue to watch over you and Alex.

This tribute was added by Amy Schornick on 8th August 2014

"Celina - My precious friend.  While I never met Joe, I know how much he meant to you and what a wonderful man he was through your stories.  Sending love and prayers today that you and your family will find peace and comfort in the wonderful memories of Joe.  Love to you all.  Amy"

This tribute was added by Pat Luzier on 8th August 2014

"Please know that you and Alex are in my thoughts and prayers.  I know it is hard....but I do believe you will see him again.
Let me know if I can do anything to support you....

This tribute was added by Scott Mallonee on 8th August 2014

"I never met Joe personally, but I feel like I knew him from the many heartfelt and comical stories from Celina.  Joe touched a lot of lives direct and indirectly, he will be missed by all.

We are keeping you and your family in our thoughts and prayers.


This tribute was added by Wendy Newberg on 8th August 2014

"Celina and Alex,

I am so sad to hear of Joe's passing. Ever since I met you all, I have had total respect and admiration for you and the amazing relationship you all had. He was a very special man and I am in awe of how well all of you, including Joe, handled his diagnosis. You all stayed strong and always had an amazing attitude. My heart breaks for all of you. You are all in my thoughts and prayers.


This tribute was added by Dianne Grussendorf on 8th August 2014

"Dear Celina and Alex, I am so deeply sorry for your loss.  I followed his disease as it progressed and know how helpless you felt.  I feel sure he knew how deeply you loved and cared for him.  And Alex, the way you live out your life is your tribute to your wonderful father and his memory!  My thoughts and prayers go with you."

This tribute was added by Steve Green on 8th August 2014

"Celina: So very sorry to hear. We loved being your neighbor and sitting down for a glass (or 2) of wine and just visiting. Although we have seen you in a while you guys were in our thoughts. Take care, Steve Green and Kenneth Craighead"

This tribute was added by Hayley Buckles on 8th August 2014


I was saddened to hear the news.   You and your family are in my thoughts and prayers. I’ve enjoyed hearing the stories that you have shared and know that Joe will live on in your memories.

“No one you love is every truly lost” –Ernest Hemingway

Much love,


This tribute was added by Patty Classy on 8th August 2014


My heart hurts for you and your daughter during this very difficult time.  I hope you find strength in the wonderful stories, photos and memories your family made over the years.  May God comfort you and Alex and know that Joe is watching over both of you always... please let me know if you need anything!

Patty Classy & Jessica..."

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Celina Burns


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