Cynthia Pender Robbins, age 82, died with her family at her side on June 22, 2023 in her Cabot, Vermont home. The cause of death was lung cancer which she and her family were quite stunned to learn of in late 2022.
Born in Bridgeport, Cindy grew up in Litchfield, Connecticut. Her parents, Daniel and Frances Pender, emphasized the importance of family and service to others. Cindy’s life’s efforts mirrored her parents’ teaching. She will be remembered best for her exceptional listening and for helping family members, friends, colleagues, and the children and families she worked with at Mitchell School sort through the complexities of life.
After graduating from Ohio Wesleyan University, Cindy’s work included child welfare, adoption placement and teaching young children at The Children’s School, a nursery school she helped found. Reading and researching constantly, Cindy continued her education earning a Master of Social Work from the University of Connecticut. The final 25 years of her career were spent in the Woodbury Public Schools as a school social worker. In addition to her work, Cindy helped organize The Fresh Air Fund, volunteered for Meals on Wheels, and was a Cub Scout den mother. In Vermont she was a hospice volunteer and through the Cabot School, she promoted literacy and served as a mentor.
Cindy and Irving Robbins married in 1965. After the births of their children, they settled in Cornwall, Connecticut. Cindy would be the first to say that she loved being a mother. Caring for others was in her nature, and no one benefited more than her children. She fostered the independence of each family member. An excellent cook and welcoming host, there were many fun gatherings shared with family and friends.
After retiring, Cindy and Irv moved to Cabot, Vermont. Cindy relished all four seasons, enjoyed both cultivated and wild flower gardening, kayaking, Nordic skiing, Pilates, and photography. She enjoyed spending time with her grandchildren, and shared her love of nature with them.
Cindy’s creative side surfaced as a grief response to her granddaughter Madeline’s death. She honed her knitting and felting skills, crafting whimsical creations, each fairy cottage, bowl, or gnome intricately designed. Eventually she became active in local artisan guilds.
No matter where she was, Cindy developed lasting, meaningful relationships. From the Cornwall roads which she walked for 25 years, to the halls of Mitchell School, she made many friends whom she cherished dearly up until her death. The messages she received during her illness soothed her heart.
Cindy was predeceased by her granddaughter, Madeline Robbins. Cindy is survived by her husband of 57 years, Irving Robbins of Cabot, VT; her daughter, Leslie Robbins (Nick) of Littleton, NH; her son, Luke Robbins (Taeryn) of Cabot, VT; her beloved grandchildren, Crawford, Hudson, Silas, and Alaina; her sister, Betsey Pender Hunter of Midlothian, VA; her cousin, Ann Griswold of Old Saybrook, CT, as well as many nieces and nephews, including especially dear niece and nephew, Meredith Stakes and Bill Hunter.
A celebration of Cindy’s life will be held in Cabot, Vermont on Saturday afternoon, August 5, 2023. In lieu of flowers or donations, Cindy always hoped friends and family would visit Irv on the hill.
Condolences can be shared online at saylesfh.com