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Cynthia Lynn Karr Lance
June 12, 1951 to July 24, 2010
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Cindy Lynn Karr Lance was born on June 12, 1951 in Munich, Germany, while her father was stationed with the Second Constabulary, US Army providing military support along the German-Russian border after World War II.  

Cindy was the second daughter, or middle child as she referred to it, born to Bruce Mohler and Doris Ann (Kemp) Karr.  Her older sister, Deborah Ann (Debbie) Black, is two years older than Cindy and her younger sister, Heather Kay Anderson, is ten years younger.  While in Germany, Cindy’s family feared threats against her father’s life and on her own.  They returned to the US in May 1953 on a Navy ship.  

Home was where her parents were.  That changed many times over Cindy’s early years due to her dad’s military career.  After returning stateside, the family bounced back and forth between Fort Knox, Kentucky and Camp Irwin, California, on the edge of the depths of Death Valley.  Cindy’s father was the Communications Officer with the Tank battalion of the Cavalry.  

After Camp Irwin,  Cindy and her family lived in Fort Knox.  She started First Grade, which she hated.  Her father had to carry her into school each morning; she ran away home at recess and her mother would have to drive her back to school.   Ironic for a woman who was such a great teacher and who impacted so many lives with her teaching.   Cindy loved learning about people and places and wanting to visit those places.  

Moving around a lot at such a young age, the girls learned to make friends quickly and try to fit in.  The family had their first real home in Northridge, California when Cindy was 7.  Cindy’s younger sister, Heather, was born in 1962.  Both Cindy and her sister took such joy in caring for and raising Heather.  The family would make many cross-country trips together and Cindy loved seeing the different states, exploring new places.  

Cindy attended Darby Elementary School in Northridge.  Then , Nobel Junior High.  It was the new school and the students got to name the halls and set the rules.  Later, Cindy went to Granada Hills High School and graduated in 1969.  She loved learning, reading, history and sports.  Cindy was an athlete who loved to dance and sing.  She was the tall, elegant one full of style, beauty and grace.  

The family attended Northridge Methodist Church where the girls were confirmed and became members.  Cindy participated as an acolyte and then later in the youth group.  It was there that Cindy met Curt Lance, who was later to become her husband.  Shortly after his graduation, Curt did a tour in Vietnam. While Curt was in Vietnam Cindy took a course at the Junior College to become a Medical Assistant and Lab Tech. She worked for a pathologist in the valley.  Curt and Cindy got married on November 13, 1971 in Northridge.  Cindy beamed as a beautiful bride surrounded by loving family and friends.

Curt and Cindy spent the early years of their marriage in Carmichael before settling in Manteca, where Curt could live close to his work at the Stockton Airport as a mechanic with the National Guard.  

Cindy and Curt’s firstborn was Matthew Edward on May 20, 1974.  Cindy fell instantly in love and was a wonderful, caring mother.  Blythe Deborah arrived on June 3rd, 1977.  Later, on May 5, 1982, Kristen Kay was born.  They all attended St. Paul’s United Methodist Church.  The children all grew up in the church participating in youth group, family camping, Discipleship classes, often seeing the church as a second home.  They were all nurtured and encouraged in their academics, sporting events and faith.  

Cindy and Curt divorced in 1986 and together they made sure that Matt, Blythe and Kris knew they were loved and supported.  While Cindy went back to school in 1989 for her teaching credential, her kids would often stay with church family for dinners.  After receiving her teaching credential, Cindy worked for the Manteca Adult School, then Manteca High School before being hired at the San Joaquin County Honor Farm.  Her classes always had lessons mostly about life and survival skills and life experiences.  Her inmates had to earn the privilege of being in her class.  Sometimes it took a while for some of them to realize this.  Some of the inmates thought it was a ‘social’ time and misused the class.  Cindy always handled this with firmness and compassion.  She was the teacher and brought in outside guest speakers and people to aid these inmates when they were to be released.  She used prayer and wisdom in her teaching and received many cards and letters from her students over the years, which she would read over and over again.  She often said that teaching the inmates was far more rewarding than teaching high school students.   Cindy wanted to know that her life had meaning and purpose. It did.  Many of those cards and letters from her beloved inmates spoke of how Cindy had influenced their lives, if not saved them.  After 12 years at the Honor Farm, Cindy was acknowledged with an award for her teaching efforts. It was an interesting time for those efforts to be acknowledged, as her cancer had returned.  

Cindy was very courageous and brave in her long battle with cancer. It started in September 2001 with a mastectomy followed by chemotherapy.  She endured with her children by her side, caring for her.  Cindy’s parents taught her to care for others, take care of the situation and do what needed to be done without complaining.  You could ask Cindy how she was and she always said, “Fine”.  Of course, if you knew her, you knew how to take that “Fine”.  She was private, stoic and full of compassion for others.  

Cindy did live in remission for a while and those were happy, normal times for her and her family.  Then, in 2006, she began having pains in her chest.  She started going through the battery of tests and pre-approvals for the tests which seemed to drag on forever.  Finally, in 2007 it was confirmed that her cancer had metastasized to her lungs.  The next 3 ½ years, she would battle dozens of drugs and symptoms with grace and dignity, always with the attitude, “what’s next, God?“  What a strong profession of faith and love Cindy gave this world.  A true testimony and praise for the way in which God works.

Along with her children and her teaching, Cindy’s greatest joys have been her grandsons, Aaron and Jacob.  She loved spending any time she could with her grandsons, whether it was watching and listening to Aaron play with his cars in the dirt or on the carpet or watching Jacob at his baseball games or anywhere these boys were.  Special times were reading with the boys, playing card games and “Ants in the Pants” or her last trip to San Francisco where she watched them do a Bungee jump gymnastics.  Cindy’s faith was strong, never wavering in her love of God.

Cindy is survived by her two sisters, Debbie Black of Portland, Oregon, and Heather Anderson of Jonesborough, Tennessee; along with her three children, Matthew Lance, Blythe Lance and Kristen Lance-Frisk, all of Manteca.  As well as her grandchildren, Jacob Frisk and Aaron Weimer of Manteca.  

A memorial service to celebrate the life of Cindy Lance will be held at St. Paul’s United Methodist Church on Saturday, July 31, 2010 at 3:30 p.m.  In lieu of flowers the family has asked that the following charities that Cindy so loved and supported, be acknowledged instead:  
St. Paul’s United Methodist Church
910 E. North St.
Manteca, CA 95336

Hospice of San Joaquin
3888 Pacific Ave.
Stockton, CA 95204-1953
(209) 957-3888

The Humane Society of the U.S.
2100 L St. NW
Washington, DC 20037

American Cancer Society
207 E. Alpine Ave.
Stockton, CA 95204-3405
(209) 941-2737

Manteca (Calif.) Bulletin
Friday, July 30, 2010