Cynthia Thomas Stuck
(1931 - 2023)
Stuck, Cynthia T. Age 92. Retired music teacher, tree farmer and basket maker, died peacefully in her sleep on October 21, 2023. Daughter of Everett and Catherine Davies Thomas of Scranton, PA. Cynthia was active in painting tin ware, doing traditional American stenciling, calligraphy, and in the last decades of her life, basket making.
Cynthia was preceded in death by her husband Chuck, in 2008. Cynthia is survived by two daughters, Becky of White Bear Lake, and Elizabeth of Minneapolis. Cynthia graduated from Central High School in Scranton, PA in 1948. After earning a Bachelor of Music degree at Yale University School of Music, Cynthia completed one year of coursework toward a Master of Music degree at the Yale University Graduate School. Cynthia then completed training at the Katherine Gibbs School in New York City, got married, and worked for Merrill Lynch on Wall Street. After Becky was born, the family moved to New Jersey, where Cynthia taught piano lessons until 1965, when they moved to White Bear Lake, Minnesota.
Cynthia designed the music curriculum and taught for ten years at St. Paul Academy & Summit School. She introduced Orff methodology to the students and won their enthusiasm. She earned the Advanced Level Certificate in the Orff Schulwerk program at the University of Minnesota. In 1980 Cynthia was awarded the Master of Music Education with Kodály Emphasis at Holy Names College in Oakland, California, pursuing studies as a Ford Foundation Fellow. In 1986 she fulfilled the requirements for certification by the State of Minnesota to teach music in the public schools.
In the years Cynthia was growing up, Scranton, Pennsylvania was a bustling, prosperous city with large areas of Welsh settlement. Particularly in the Hyde Park section of Scranton where Cynthia's family lived, generations of Welsh immigrations built the city into what was known in the early 1900's as the Athens of America, due to its large concentration of poets, philosophers, musicians, and music teachers. Cynthia and others members of her family regularly won prizes in poetry writing and Welsh music singing contests.
In addition to music , Cynthia had a lifelong love of the outdoors and of working outdoors. At the family farm in Susquehanna, PA, Cynthia tended everything growing, and earned the designation Tree Farmer. In her home on a small lake in White Bear Lake, Cynthia took a very active role in working with the DNR and organizing neighbors to improve the water quality. Always aware of the need to care for the environment, she replaced her sodded front yard with native vegetation decades before that was a popular movement.
Most recently, Cynthia's creative skills have been expressed in making baskets. In addition to taking many courses within the U.S., Cynthia went to Wales and took workshops specifically in British basket-making. She participated in St. Paul's Irish fair for over a decade, where she displayed and sold her own baskets, and taught fairgoers to make small demonstration baskets. She has also taught classes to students from 4H clubs, Girl Scouts, and people in their homes.
In lieu of flowers, memorials are preferred to the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN.