TILTON — Cynthia Gonnerman, 47, of Tilton, passed away Sunday, March 23, 2014.
Cynthia "Cindy" was born March 1, 1967 in Plymouth, NH, the daughter of Tobey and Alice Gonnerman.
Cindy's early years were happily spent in the Rumney area where she attended the Russell School. Beginning when she was 4 years old, and for six more years, her family traveled to live and work in the Northwest of the United States, returning each spring to NH taking different routes each time, visiting as many states as possible.
She graduated from The New Hampton School spending her senior year as a Foreign Exchange Student in Denmark. Returning home after travels and adventures in Europe, she entered UNH and graduated in 1989. Her career took her to Tilton where she was employed as a social worker at the Spaulding Youth Center.
After losing her sight at age 30, Cindy faced her future with courage and independence. She always had an adventurous spirit and when The Guide Dog Association approved her application, she was on her way to Oregon. She could have taken a plane, but insisted on taking the bus....alone. She said, "No, I'm taking the bus. I want to see the country."
Cindy was an advocate for projects that were dear to her heart. She was tough when it came to the rights of people who were disabled...or poor. She fought to keep the Bus System running when it was thought some routes might be changed or discontinued. She was active on the Governor's Advisory Council in Concord and was not afraid to speak her mind.
A big part of Cindy's life was being involved and giving back to the community that she loved and loved her. She saw her cup as half full and always found ways to help others who took inspiration from her positive attitude.
She was an active member of the Tilton Senior Center CHAT Committee and everyone looked forward to eating her famous chocolate chip cookies. She also loved her membership in the Hall Memorial Library Book Club.
For 18 years Cindy volunteered at the Veterans Home in Tilton, taking her guide dogs for the residents to play with. It gave her great joy to be part of their lives and she could instantly recognize each Veteran by just hearing their voice. They loved her and she loved them.
A special aunt said that the song that most described Cindy was: "I'll Do It My Way". And she did.
Survivors include her mother, Alice "Allie" Martin, of Clearwater, Fla.; her father, Tobey Gonnerman, of New Hampton and a sister, Abigail "Abby" Sampson of Billerica, Mass.
The date and time of the Memorial Service will be announced and held at a later date. There will be no calling hours.
For those who wish, Memorial donations can be made to the New Hampshire Veterans Home, 139 Winter Street, Tilton, NH 03276.
Wilkinson-Beane-Simoneau-Paquette Funeral Home & Cremation Services, 164 Pleasant Street, Laconia, NH is assisting the family with the arrangements. For more information and to view an online memorial, go to www.wilkinsonbeane.com.