Cynthia Riley

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Cynthia Anne Sisson

Cynthia Anne Sisson Riley, 62, passed away on Monday, October 21, 2013 in her home in Memphis, TN, under the care of her partner, Sandy Harris, Methodist Hospital Hospice, and friends after a long, courageous battle with multiple sclerosis and cancer. Cynthia was born in Toledo in 1951, to Ralph Laurence and Leah Shanteau Sisson. She was a graduate of Harvard Elementary School and Bowsher High School. She studied for her Bachelor of Arts degree in Music at H. Sophie Newcomb Memorial College and Tulane University in New Orleans, LA, and graduated from the University of New Orleans. Cynthia's career was in music and music education in Toledo, New Orleans, and Memphis. She trained as a classical pianist, Celtic harpist, and Orff Music Specialist in elementary education. A devoted teacher, she often took students to perform in Orff, W. Tenn. Elementary Music Education Assn., and other events. She loved reading, pets, kayaking, camping, and enjoying nature with family and friends.

Cynthia is survived by her partner, Sandy Harris, Memphis; her mother, Leah Shanteau Sisson Heimbeck, Toledo; sisters, Jessica Sisson (Alan) Schackne, Foster City, CA, Pamela Sisson (Jean Brickman), East Lansing, MI, and Melinda Sisson (L. Douglas) Cervantes, Tucson, AZ; half-sister, Martha Sisson (R. James) Tracy, Aurora OH; nephew, Karl Schackne, San Francisco, CA; niece, Beth Schackne, Palo Alto, CA; cousins, Leslie (Kathy) Shanteau, Erie, MI, David (Madeleine Kerr) Shanteau, Marine-on-St. Croix, MN, and Philip Shanteau, Castle Rock, WA; nephew, J. Laurence Jordan, Palmetto FL, and other relatives. Cynthia was preceded in death by her father, Ralph Laurence Sisson; sister, Rebecca Lynn Sisson; brother, Ralph Laurence Sisson Jr.; half-sister, Julia Sisson Jordan; grandparents, C. Earl (Hilda Fulton) Shanteau, and uncle and aunt, Carl (Ruth Draves) Shanteau.

A memorial service will be held at First Presbyterian Church of Maumee on Saturday, November 9, at 11 a.m. Contributions to the Cancer Research Institute, the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, a Hospice organization, or the Memphis Chapter of the American Orff-Schulwerk Assn. would be appreciated.
Published in Toledo Blade on Oct. 27, 2013
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