Cynthia Yvonne Etheridge-Parker was born May 31, 1964, at Cumberland Hospital in Brooklyn, New York to the late mother Erma Lee Riddick- Etheridge and Eugene Edward Etheridge. Cynthia was residing in New Brunswick, New Jersey when she suddenly departed this life on May 5, 2020, at St. Peter’s Hospital in New Brunswick, New Jersey.
Cynthia graduated from Erasmus Hall High School in Brooklyn, New York in 1982 where she played for the Erasmus Hall High School basketball team; she was a writer for the school newspaper and sang on the school choir. Thereafter, Cynthia continued her education at Delaware State University where she pursued journalism. She then went on to the New York Institute of Technology where she played for the Bear’s Women Basketball team. Due to life events, Cynthia decided to fiercely join the United States Air Force where she was one of two women and the only one of color in Civil Engineering: at that time. Having done that, she was given the opportunity to travel the world.
Cynthia then transitioned to the Air Force Reserves and during that time she worked at Horizon Trust Company in Morristown, New Jersey in which she met Geoffrey Parker. They later married and from that union, their daughter Candice Parker was born. Cynthia then worked at the Marriott Hotel at Newark International Airport for a brief period. She was given the opportunity to pursue her dream career in journalism with the Star-Ledger News Paper in Newark, New Jersey where she advanced to a position within the business department for 15 years. Cynthia was commissioned to write many articles for small African-American businesses throughout New Jersey which brought her great joy. Cynthia decided to go take on a new task in life and she enrolled in Raritan Valley Community College and was accepted into the Optician program where she was excelling greatly.
Cynthia’s life took a change in 2011 when she was diagnosed with Neuromyelitis Optica (NMO), a rare condition that affects the spinal cord and the nerves of the eyes (optic nerves). Cynthia suffered from weakness, blindness, nerve pain, and muscle spasms also every day for the past nine years however no one would ever know this. Cynthia surpassed all the effects of NMO regaining her eyesight, mobility, and great control of her nerves. Cynthia was blessed to have a wonderful team of doctors who guided her on the path of healing. Cynthia had the opportunity to attend the John Hopkins Neuromyelitis Optica (NMO) patient day where she was so inspired and such an inspiration to others that she was invited to the national NMO patient day in Los Angeles, California.
Cynthia was a true definition of a fighter. When she was told she was not going to live in 2011 she fought. During the past nine years, Cynthia was blessed to witness the birth of her first grandchild. Whereas doctors said to her that she was not going to make it, in 2015 she witnessed life coming into this world. Cynthia continued her fight with a smile on her face and sunshine in her heart. Many would look at her and say I don’t know how you do it every day and she would reply with her head held high and say “I am a survivor” and within that same breath she would tell you a joke.
Cynthia leaves to cherish her precious memory; her beloved daughter Candice Parker-Jones, Son-in-law Keith Jones, grandson Asavon Logan, future granddaughter Layla Cynthia, father Eugene Edward Etheridge and mother Louise Artist-Etheridge, her bothers Rodney (Lesley) and Gary, niece Ashley, three uncles Frankie, Banzet, Sylvester four aunts Carolyn, Kathryn, Joyce and Geraldine, a host of cousins, other family members, and loving friends.
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