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Cynthia A.B. Leahy

January 22, 2023 at 4:00 a.m.
Cynthia A.B. Leahy - Submitted photo

Cynthia Anne Bransford Leahy conveyed something magical her entire life. Vibrant with a lasting resonance, she was a defiant beauty who rode in on the horizon of her 20s on Italian wheels of her own purchase and lived in Tennessee, Georgia, Nevada, California and Ohio before returning home with her rollicking husband, Bernie, to live near her parents, Emily and Tommy Bransford, for the "Easy Livin'" joys in Arkansas. She forged a stream of love steady as the stars wherever she was and had a beautiful laugh you could hear a mile away, which was particularly appreciated by her children when they needed to locate her.

Cynthia loved not only with her heart, but with her hands. The way she rubbed your arm or back as she hugged, her handcrafted gifts, the attention she gave holding objects with stories and meaning. Her love was tactile and strong, especially when an animal came along ... feeding the birds, ducks, turtles, all the dogs: Lily, Laidan, Maggie, Sam, Ozzie, Lu-Lu, Macy, Sandy, Joby, Shadow, Emmet, Deacon, Coalsack, Pumpkin and Eloise I, II and III.

She had a lifelong love for oysters and pickles (drinking the juice, too), alfalfa sprouts and cheese, and above all else, hot sauce. Even better if it came in a squeezable packet. She hunted her fashion finds from the bargains of NBC stores as her children weaved in and out of the racks. Her best ensemble was always the cheapest and way ahead of its time.

Throughout it all, Cynthia had a musician studio vibe and a strong sense of self and play, spinning together words to punctuate life ... hot diggy dog swimmin' in the full moon. Her heart's natural state was happiness and her smile-filled soul advocated an eagerness to give. She hummed not only to music, but also when the love inside her grew too much to control. Her deep "Mmm-Mmmmm" will be forever in our ears.

Her spirit is carried on by her husband, Bernard Patrick Leahy; sister, Victoria Leigh Bransford; children, Erin Leahy Box, Bridget Bransford Miner, Patrick Barton Leahy; her niece and nephew, Jessica Robin McClendon, Byron Eagle McClendon; their spouses, Burt Box, Jason Miner, Theo Knight, Ben Strawn; and her grandchildren, McCoy Box, Durham Box, Callaway Box, Lillian Miner, Indigo Strawn.

She died Saturday, Jan. 14, 2023 (her half-birthday *cue the kazoo) and was surrounded by loved ones, being told over and over how beloved she is and thanked for how beautiful she made the world. Her stories told of uproarious humor and her courage, ready charity and unequivocal support for family will strongly endure and resonate in the hearts she touched. We are who we are because of her. Mmm-Mmmmm ...

A memorial will be held on Saturday, Feb. 4, 2023, to celebrate her and to enshrine her laughter in our hearts forever and always, especially when we find ourselves needing her the most. For location details, please contact Gross Funeral Home, 501-624-1244.

In lieu of flowers: Please donate online or by mail in Cynthia's name to Stop Animal Cruelty, P.O. Box 1521, Malvern, AR 72104. Believe the best in people. Let a dog (or three) share your bed.

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