Cynthia Ann (Johnson) Barnett, 69, of Syracuse, NY, passed away on Wednesday, March 24, 2021, while surrounded by family. She leaves behind her three children, Matthew, Beth and Joel; sister, Susan Bierer and their families.
Cynthia was passionate about helping people, especially advocating for those who need help advocating for themselves. She spent her career as an educator, professor, and vice principal, and often reminisced about how her most rewarding professional relationships were those built with the children her colleagues viewed as “challenging” or “difficult.” Cynthia loved being a parishioner of All Saints Church and was also deeply involved with L’Arche Syracuse for many years. Her lifelong selflessness was in harmony with L’Arche’s mission to recognize that, regardless of ability, all people deserve love and have value.
A connoisseur of creative outlets, Cynthia enjoyed expressing herself through hobbies ranging from beading and jewelry-making to embroidery, drawing, and every craft in between. She adored music – singing it, listening to it, worshipping through it, playing it with her hammered dulcimer – and had an unquenchable desire to learn (some of her most recent endeavors included studying Spanish and Swahili). At any moment, you could rely on Cynthia to have a collection of dogs (all rescued), an anecdote from years ago, and a plan for her next family adventure.
Cynthia loved her family most of all and did her best to wrangle everyone to one location as frequently as possible, whether that was at a family birthday party, an amazing beach trip to Mystic, CT, a long weekend in the Finger Lakes, or celebrating the holidays in Cincinnati. Spending time with family and making new memories was her favorite pastime. Her children will tell you that their beloved mother was, without fail, their constant supporter and cheerleader from birth through adulthood. Cynthia was generous with her love and truly appreciated each person in her life for who they are and the unique gifts they have to offer.
We will miss her stories, her quirks, her unbounded love, and her altruism but take comfort in knowing that her legacy will live on through the many lives she touched.
Calling hours will be Tuesday, March 30, from 4-7 p.m. at the Sears Middleton Mathewson Funeral Home, 209 N. Main St., North Syracuse. A memorial service will be held Wednesday, March 31, at 10 a.m. at All Saints Church.
In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made in her memory to L’Arche Syracuse.
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