Cynthia Lea Grise Camplin, 53, lost her battle with ALS/Lou Gehrig's disease on August 4, 2014, at the Ridgewood Terrace Nursing Home. Cynthia was born at Muhlenberg Community Hospital in Greenville on June 12, 1961 to Claude Eldon Grise and Frances Ann Brown Grise. With no ultra sound equipment in those days, Cynthia came out feet first a breeched birth at 7 lb 13 oz. The largest of her mother's four babies Cynthia believed that without the skilled hands and cool head of Dr. Hylan Woodson Jr. things might not have worked out so well.
To aggravate her mother on Cynthia's birthday, she would call her and say "Mom, please tell me about the day I was born." Cynthia grew up in southern Butler County in the community of Graveltown. She attended 3rd district elementary in Huntsville and graduated from Butler County High School in Morgantown. She went on to earn a Bachelors of Science Degree in Dietetics and Institutional Administration from Western Kentucky University.
She said of all of her accomplishments, earning this degree meant the most for a girl from a small county who had never seen an algebra problem until the ninth grade; she had to work twice as hard while working at the same time. Cynthia, was a gifted writer, poet and vocalist. She was an avid gardener, best known for her organic tomatoes and spaghetti sauce. She loved to take perennials she grew to the Greenville Flea Market. While she sold plants, her husband Paul would sell his book "A New History of Muhlenberg County." She said they did not make much money but she and Paul enjoyed seeing people, especially the folks from Beech Creek. At the age of 10 Cynthia gave her life to Christ and was a member of Rock Springs Baptist Church in Butler County.
When my brother Mike was 4, Cynthia was eleven and her older sister was 15, and oldest brother was 16, their father was killed in a tractor mishap. But overnight, Cynthia went from a care free child to an adult. Two years later when her sister went to Eastern Kentucky University and her older brother got married and their mother was dealing with her grief in her own way, it became her job to care for the house, yard, and her brother, Mike. Because he lost his father so young, everyone poured all the love they could on him. Even though he barely remembered our dad, he is a carbon copy of him. My brother Mike inherited so many good traits in kindness, patience, and caring, but most of all his loyalty to the people around him and especially his sister, Cynthia. She could not tell him how much she has enjoyed her time with him-especially this past year. One of our favorite past times was watching Everybody Loves Raymond. Marie was our mother, Mike was Raymond, unlike Robert we were never jealous of our baby brother we knew he was a gift from God from the very beginning.
Cynthia is survived by her brothers, Michael Anthony Grise of Drakesboro; and Phillip Grise of Hopkinsville; her sister Claudette Weldon of Ashland Va.; three nephews and three nieces, and four great nephews. She was preceded in death by her beloved writing partner and husband, Paul Camplin on June16,2013, her parents, grandparents, Anthony and Minta Harper Grise; and William Clyde Brown Seniors and Cora Alice Brown and a great niece Kinley Browning.
When asked how she wanted to be remembered, Cynthia said she wanted to be remembered as someone who had a giving, loving spirit, but she did not suffer bullies and tyrants gladly.
Until the day she died, she still stood up for what she believed in. Even though the ALS destroyed her body, no one could take what made Cynthia who she was. And she could not leave this Earth without passing on the wisdom of her experience if there is something you want to do, "Do it now." None of us are promised tomorrow.
She got on a train in Carbondale, IL alone and went to California through the Rocky Mountains and came back through the Grand Canyon. She came back more determined than ever to become a writer. She quit her steady state job and went looking for a writer to show her the ropes. When she met Paul Camplin, he opened up a whole new world for her. By giving her his page in the paper, he gave her more opportunity than she ever dreamed of and more love and respect than any other man other than her dad.
If you are not in a position to take big risk, start with small steps. Remember the Chinese proverb, "The Journey of 1000 miles begins with one step." Peace and love to all.
Cynthia wanted to thank Jason Lewis of Barnett-Strother Funeral Home of Madisonville for going above and beyond the call of duty.
Before Cynthia was cremated, she donated her brain and spinal cord tissue to Massachusetts General Hospital in an effort to find a treatment or cure for this horrible illness.
Services will be private with burial in the Western Kentucky Veteran's Cemetery West In Hopkinsville.
Online condolences may be made to the family at www.barnettstrother.com.