If life is a song worth singing, then every breath taken should exude the melody, the harmony and the rhapsody of Cynthia Jonell Ford-King. After a valiant fight with cancer, Cynthia transitioned peacefully on Saturday, August 18, 2018 at her home. She was 57. Within the fifty-seven season of her life, this incredible woman found a way to leave an indelible mark on the life of every person she touched.
The unforgettable moment in time was January 22, 1961. It was then that Cynthia made her grand entrance into the world. She was the oldest child born in El Dorado, Arkansas and was the beloved daughter of Thomas J. and Dorothy Jean Bradley Ford. Family played a key role in the development and shaping of her life. Cynthia accepted Christ as her Lord and Savior as a little girl. In 1963 the family of three were part of a large migration of African Americans who moved North in search of better jobs and more opportunities. They settled in Detroit where T.J. was able to find work. In 1967 riots broke out in the city; down the street from where the family was living, and a six-year-old Cynthia was hidden under a bed as gunshots and violence was rampant outside the family’s home.
“Cynt”, as she was known by everyone grew up to be a fun loving and outgoing young lady. She had a big heart and was always smiling, gossiping and making people laugh. Growing up she attended Inkster Public Schools and was a 1979 graduate of Inkster High. She furthered her education at Wayne County Community College, where she studied criminal justice. After graduation she spent a number of years with Valasis Printing Company, until moving back home to Arkansas. She became a paraprofessional with the Norphlet School District and was finally able to do what she always wanted; work with children and adults with disabilities.
On April 5, 2010, she married her knight in shining armor John Allen King. Although she had no children of her own; she loved and nurtured Dorothy, D’Metria and Harold, III. She was well-known as a fisher”woman” and would take advantage of every opportunity to fish. Being the consummate reader that she was; she always found time to read and share her thoughts.
Cynthia and John moved to Arkadelphia to be closer to her “sister-aunt” Brenda Philson. She united with the Greater Pleasant Hill Baptist Church family in 2012. She was an employee of the Arkadelphia Human Development Center working with adults with disabilities and as a paraprofessional at Gurdon High School. She made friends easily and developed lasting bonds with Rhonda Jones, Connie McCauley, Edna Cooper, Tara Williams, Lynn Failla, Emma Burnett, Gloria Parker, Jeffery Bridges (Compadre), Donald Bridges (Compadre) and Marilyn Winwright.
Memories of Cynthia are etched in the hearts of her husband, John A. King; her sister, Carla (Harold) McDuffie; her brother, Thomas G. (Juana) Ford; her “sister-aunt”, Brenda Philson; her nieces and nephew, Dorothy, D’Metria and Harold, III; a special nephew, Marvin Allen; her beloved pet dogs, Roxie and Lola; her aunts, Jimmie Barnes, Lula Mae Ford, Evelyn Bradley, Augustine Bradley Watson-Wilson, Pecola (James) Murrell – her best confidante’, Florine (JD) George, Pearl Butler and Pearlie Ruth Pierce; and uncles, Billy Jean Ford and Willie (Carolyn) Norman.
Services to celebrate her life will be held at 1:00 p.m. on Friday, August 24, 2018 at St. James Cemetery in Urbana, Arkansas with Dr. Lewis A. Shepherd, Jr., officiating. Public visitation will be Thursday, August 23, 2018 from 5:00-6:00 p.m. at Williams Funeral Home.