Cynthia Ellen Morton was blessed to be born to John D. "Jack" Smith and Mary Jane Kohl Smith on Aug. 31, 1949, in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. She passed away peacefully on Saturday, Feb. 24, 2018, at Kavanagh House in Des Moines.
Her parents taught her to respect others and to love animals, the mountains, trains of all kinds and home grown tomatoes. From her parents, she gained an appreciation of the beauty of the mountains which she shared with family and others through many travels.
Cindy graduated from Mount Mercy College in 1972. She was a graduate of Leadership Iowa. Cindy's life was formed on principles she gained from loving parents. Cindy's father, Jack, not only gave her the love of railroads but an understanding of the need to persist to a successful completion of each task she undertook. From her mother, Mary Jane, Cindy learned the importance of loving others and animals and giving of herself and her resources to help others in their journey. From her parents, Grandmother Winifred Kohl, Great-Grandmother Mary Jane Lacy and Great-Aunt Deedie, Cindy gained a devout faith which guided her throughout her life.
Known as John Denver's biggest fan, she was never happier than when skiing down Snowmass Mountain in Colorado singing "Rocky Mountain High" or "Annie's Song." She made frequent trips with her mother to meditate at the beauty of the Maroon Bells near Aspen, Colo., which she believed the most beautiful place on earth.
Cindy worked for the state of Iowa for over 34 years in a career that focused on human resource management. Respected throughout state government for her ability to gain cooperation on major initiatives, her greatest contributions were in the mentoring and growth of the many employees she touched.
Following retirement in 2008, Cindy's love of volunteering and helping others led her to work with many non-profits in Des Moines. She served as president of the DMARC board, president of the Bridge board, president of the Urbandale Food Pantry and senior warden for St Paul's Episcopal Church. Cindy also served as a docent at the World Food Prize Hall of Laureates.
Cindy's life was centered on caring for others and fostering understanding of the need to enhance the lives of those with greater needs. She taught ESL with EMBARC, and encouraged the feeding and support of those who were hungry through many programs, including the Red Barrel program and Connection Cafe. In recent years, Cindy fostered others to gain an understanding of social issues worldwide as a facilitator of the Just Faith program and deepened her understanding of the scriptures by actively participating in Bible study fellowship. Each of these organizations was positively impacted by her time and talent that she gave freely. Through these efforts, Cindy hoped she encouraged her friends and family to give of themselves to serve the many who have great needs.
Cindy is survived by her loving husband, Richard Jacobs; her son, Alex Morton, of whom she was extremely proud; and his father, Dean Morton. She is also survived by her mother, Mary Jane Smith, several cousins, nieces, nephews and friends too numerous to list.
She was preceded in death by her father, Jack Smith, her grandparents and infant son.
The family wishes to express its deepest appreciation to Dr. Tom Buroker, Julie, Michelle and the other excellent staff of Medical Oncology and Hematology Associates of Iowa, Edra Fouts of the John Stoddard Cancer and the staff of Kavanagh House for the excellent and compassionate care provided to Cindy.
Services with be held at 11 a.m. Saturday, March 3, at St Paul's Episcopal Cathedral, 815 High St., Des Moines.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Urbandale Food Pantry Truck Fund or the Animal Rescue League.
Arrangements by Iles Westover Chapel in Des Moines. Online condolences are welcome at www.IlesCares.com.