Cynthia Ann GuinnFebruary 6, 1937 ~ October 20, 2017 (age 80)
Cynthia Ann Dodd Guinn, age 80, died on the evening of October 20, 2017, surrounded by family. Sarah Smith Dodd and her husband Allen Dodd graced Bowling Green, KY and the rest of us with Cynthia’s existence on February 6, 1937.
In 1955, Cynthia became a Western State College High School graduate. Four years later, she graduated from Barry College in Miami with the college’s first four-year degree in physical education. That same year, 1959, she went on a blind date with Julian P. Guinn, and they were married before the year was out.
First came Mark Dodd in 1960. Then Tracy Dodd in 1961. Then Matthew Dodd in 1963. Finally, James Allen Dodd arrived in 1967. She was a warm mother, and her children grew well in the shade of her strength and care. She tended them with the same love and patience she had with her garden, a great sprawling wonderland that produced mountains of flowers and fruit alike. The view from the kitchen sink window still perfectly frames a large stone inscribed with the words “To cultivate a garden is to walk with God,” and walk with God she did. A devout Catholic, she attended the Holy Cross Catholic Church.
Having cared for her own disabled child, Jim, Cynthia understood the need for a supportive community for all children. So in 1972, she organized and developed a daycare program for Henry County’s mentally handicapped children under the auspices of the Easter Seal Society.
In 1973, she began substitute teaching. Then she devoted two years to working for the Murray State Teacher Corps Program before she graduated from Murray State University with her masters of arts in education in 1980. In 1985, she expanded her daycare into a four-week summer camp which continued on with the Easter Seal Society after she left.
Ever involved in the Henry County community, she served as a board member for the Paris Special School District, the Community Developmental Services and the Henry County Nursing Home Board of Trustees. From 1983 to 1988, she was the chairman for the annual OKTOBERFEST. In 1990, she was elected president of the Paris Kiwanis Club, making her the first female president of the club in the region. She spent fifteen years working for Carey Counseling Center before finally retiring in 2000. Most recently, she organized the Jim Guinn Poker Run, which raised money for St. John’s Community Services, the community that Jim has been a part of for years. These are only a few of her achievements.
Her husband could go on and on about what a gourmet chef she was, and her grandchildren will attempt for the rest of their lives to recreate her eggs and fudge brownies. On top of being a top notch chef, Cynthia was a dedicated record keeper who collected all the family recipes she could find, including her own, into one book, Something Smells Good, that she distributed to family and friends.
Cynthia was a soul who adored the sea, and she and Julian travelled the world, scuba diving reefs and shipwrecks alike. With her dearest friends, which she lovingly referred to as the Florida Girls, she made yearly treks to the peninsular state to keep up her tan and collect shells.
She detested heavy perfumes and shirts that squeezed her neck too tightly, and her favorite beach chairs were the light aluminum sort. She loved a good poached egg, and every Thanksgiving she drank Bloody Marys. She loved birds, and they loved her. It was hard not to.
Cynthia is survived by all her children, Mark and his wife Katie, Tracy, Matthew and his fiancé Chardonnay, and Jim; three grandchildren, Jacob Don Thomas Guinn, Darby Halligan Guinn, and Julian Dodd Guinn; her sister Rose Ellen Allen; and her brother Allen L. Dodd.
A memorial service for Cynthia will be held December 16th at 11 a.m. at Holy Cross Church in Paris. In lieu of flowers, the family aims to carry on Cynthia’s spirit of giving and requests that donations be made to Jim’s community home, St. John’s Community Services, ATTN: Doug Clark, 50 Volunteer Blvd., Jackson, TN, 38305.
St. John's Community Service Attn: Doug Clark
50 Volunteer Blvd, Jackson TN 38305