Cynthia Brandt, of South Bend
Cynthia (Jones) Brandt, 59, of South Bend, passed away unexpectedly but of natural causes on Thursday, Jan. 21, 2021, at her home.
A woman who knew no real barriers, Cindy entered this world on Oct. 14, 1961, to the late LeRoy and Shirley (Cole) Jones in Niles, and she has been blazing her own trail ever since. From a young age, Cindy knew that her true calling was to help others, and starting at age 15, she volunteered as a candy striper at Pawating Hospital in Niles, walking to and from her responsibilities regardless of the weather. Upon completion of high school, her first real job was as a nurse’s aide at Silverbrook Nursing Home.
After giving birth to her two daughters, Cindy worked and returned to school to give her family a life full of possibilities, values, and love. After graduating with her bachelor’s degree and becoming a registered nurse, Cindy devoted her life to caring for others. She gained experience and expertise in a variety of nursing disciplines, including oncology and orthopedics; however, she was always drawn back to her passion to help others in long term and end-of-life care, and she finished her career at a non-profit hospice center. She was a courageous woman with a heart that poured out love and compassion, and a woman whose wealth of knowledge could not be surpassed. She could aptly discuss art history, engage in geopolitics, and then transition to the importance of animal rescue and the different ways to be involved in the same conversation.
When her children were younger, Cindy started their education with Encyclopedia Britannica, and when the internet became available, she taught her children how to responsibly use it. She loved technology and always had the latest gadgets at her home for her children (not really…she loved the games as well). She was a gamer before it was cool and could compete with the best of them.
However, Cindy’s life was the best teacher. She instilled in her daughters that there are no limits except for the ones you set for yourself. She gave of herself daily, to her daughters, to her siblings, to her patients, to her coworkers, and after a ceremony in 1998, to her husband Yury. Cindy didn’t believe in lip service. She believed in dedication and proof by her actions.
She is preceded in death by her parents.
Cindy is survived by her husband and fellow adventurer, Yury Brandt; her two daughters, of whom she swelled with pride, Megan (Eric Baker) Villwock, of Portland, Oregon, and Melanie (Jonathan) Schlegel, of Berrien Springs; a brother, Allen Jones, of Niles; and a sister, Shelley (Martino) Coccarelli, of Erie, Pennsylvania. She also leaves to cherish her memory, her three grandchildren, William, Lydia, and Rose Schlegel; her aunt, Jacalyn (Dean) Hess; a nephew, Nicholas Coccarelli; two nieces, Angela Aldana and Martina Coccarelli; and her beloved furbabies, Lucy and Ricky, and her furniece Mia.
In keeping with Cindy’s generous and thoughtful ways, those who would like to make a donation in honor of her have been asked to consider Pet Refuge, petrefuge.com or Pet Peace of Mind, foundationforhospice.org/ppom1.
In accordance with Cindy’s wishes, cremation has taken place and her family will be remembering her privately.
Arrangements have been entrusted to Brown Funeral Home, Niles.