Cynthia Kane Bender, 77, of Pocono Pines died Thursday, January 31, of complications from chemotherapy for colon cancer at the Geisinger Wyoming Medical Center in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania.
Cynthia was the daughter of Rosamond and Gibbs Kane of West Chester, PA. She was a graduate of Friends School, Wilmington, Delaware, '54, and Lasell College, and attended Tufts University and the University of Iowa
Doug and Cynthia were married in 1957 and in 1964 they moved from Drexel Hill to Swarthmore. Cynthia loved Swarthmore and made it her home for 46 years. One of her favorite signs in the kitchen said, "I wasn't born in Swarthmore. But I got here as fast as I could."
During her 46 years in town she participated in a number of community organizations including serving on the Boards of SRA and the Swim Club. She was an energetic committee member for the Luminaria program for ABC.
She loved the Swarthmore Presbyterian Church, serving multiple terms as an Elder and a Deacon. She sang in the choir and served as a Stephen Minister. Her passion was the Fall Fair for which she worked for diligently and tirelessly for many years.
Cynthia was a devoted member of PEO for 50 years and served as chapter president. She was a charter member of the Hemlock Paddle Club and was an enthusiastic player for nearly 40 years and hosted many parties in her home.
Some may remember her as the first pregnant bike winner at the Fourth of July celebration after taking a somewhat devious and shorter route. The Fourth of July in Swarthmore was one of her favorite days.
She was an avid Philadelphia Flyer fan and wore her Bobby Clarke jersey with pride. These are a matter of public record.
Her greatest contributions, however, happened every day.
She will be remembered for endless energy, enthusiasm, sense of humor, love for life, and the selfless giving of herself to others. She truly loved her neighbors and she made the community a better place.
On her refrigerator, was a 3x5 card on which she had written "you have never really lived until you have done something for someone who can never repay you."
One neighbor and friend said, "Whether she was wearing a toga, a jaunty Panama hat, her red cowboy boots for a little line dancing or cheek to cheek; she was vividly alive, caring, generous and loving. Make that ALIVE in all caps.
She had radar for those that needed some care, attention, friendship or a swift kick in the bottom. She could sense an opportunity for organization-ask her friends and family.
She loved fiercely and was loved as ferociously in return. She was the best friend, mother, wife, sister or grandmother that was ever made." Another wrote, "Is it possible she is gone? Her passion for life and unwavering optimism will remain within me and many who knew her. I wish I had the chance to say thank you one more time. Our lives would have been so different if she hadn't been there from the choir, to egg sandwiches at the Pageant, to Paddle, and trips to the lake. Thank you Nana Cynth for being there."
And this from a friend: "The ache in my heart about the news that Cynthia Bender has left us is almost unbearable. She brought sunshine into a dark room, love to people who felt ignored, and a spirit of 'let's get it done' to people who needed a boost. She will remain a spirit of support and guidance to me, wherever I go. Love you."
Survivors: her husband Douglas, four children, Kane of West Chester, Jeffrey of Atlanta, Jonathan of Lake Mary, Florida and Kimberly of Ivyland, Bucks County; four grandchildren, John, Forrest, Leighton, and Ali; and a sister Meredith Tolsdorf of West Chester.
In lieu of flowers: Cynthia requested that donations in her name be made to the PEO's Cottey College, c/o PEO Chapter P, 419 Riverview Road, Swarthmore, PA 19081 with the donations to be used to create a fund in her name; or the Swarthmore Presbyterian Church, 727 Harvard Avenue, Swarthmore, PA 19081.
Memorial service: will be held on Saturday, February 23, 1:00 pm, at the Swarthmore Presbyterian Church.