Cynthia “Cyndy” Joan Wardlaw

Published 3:01 pm Monday, February 27, 2023

Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...

Cynthia “Cyndy” Joan Wardlaw passed away peacefully in Lincolnwood, Illinois on Dec. 26, 2023, from complications due to Parkinson’s and Covid.

Cyndy was born at home in 1937 in Edgewood, Indiana to Maurice and Catharine Weddle. She was the eldest of two daughters. After graduating Shortridge High School, Indianapolis in 1955 she married her high school sweetheart, James S. Wardlaw (1935-2012) in 1958 and had four children James H., Buffalo, New York (1961), Melissa S., Chicago, Illinois (1964) and Catharine (1964-1965) and Rebecca C., Wilmette, Illinois (1968).

After stints in Pennsylvania, Indiana, Illinois, Missouri, and Ohio, she settled into Southwest Michigan on Dewey Lake in Sister Lakes (1974 to 2015). She relocated to Wilmette, Illinois to be closer to family in 2016.

Cyndy was a lover of humanities. You often found her in the kitchen exploring a recipe while a little classical, jazz or blues played in the background. Or maybe tending to her kitchen garden in the backyard, grabbing a little fresh basil or oregano to complete a new dish. Many said, Dad was a lucky man to have found a woman who shared his creative energy. She was deeply committed to the people she loved and always ready to support their endeavors, no matter how daring or disruptive. As a young woman, she was known to love fast cars and often referred to the boys she dated by the make and year car they drove.

Of her many passions, the art and artists of the Dogwood Fine Arts Festival, Dowagiac, Michigan was the greatest. She was instrumental in recruiting and hosting well-known artists and authors from around the country for this annual event, as well as the commissioning and placement of many of the sculptures throughout the City of Dowagiac. Each year during the Holidays she and her colleagues would place red scarves around the necks of the sculptures to “keep them warm.” She was particularly fond of “Cheetahs on the Run” by Jan Rosetta, Loveland, Colorado and “Dance of creation” by Tuck Langland, Granger, Indiana. She “re-discovered” the art of local teacher and artist Margaret Hunter (1914-2021), assembling a successful show and benefit in the process. Cyndy had the heart of an artist fulfilled through the talents of the many creators she touched.

She is survived by her children, James Wardlaw, Melissa Harmening and Rebecca Boyer, six Grandchildren and 4 Great Grandchildren and her dearest partner in crime and friend Thelda Mathews. A gathering of family and friends will take place this Spring in Indianapolis. Memorials may be made to the Parkinson’s Foundation.