Cover photo for Cynthia "Cindy" Louise Smith's Obituary
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1965 Cynthia "Cindy" 2024

Cynthia "Cindy" Louise Smith

January 8, 1965 — February 16, 2024

Upper Darby, PA

Cynthia “Cindy” Louise Smith, 59, passed away on Friday, February 16, 2024 at Bryn Mawr Hospital due to unexpected complications from recent cardiac surgery.

Born in Delaware County, PA, Cindy was the fourth of six children to Theodore Smith and the late Anita McHugh.  She is also predeceased by her stepfather, Edward McHugh.  She worked for many years at Our Deli in Paoli, where she had many devoted customers and friends.  In the words of one of her patrons, “Cindy was loved by so many and she brightened lives with her energy and her warm and giving heart.”

In the early years of her life, Cindy struggled with addiction.   But she was always a strong-willed fighter, and in her later years she battled her addiction heroically, overcoming the odds and turning her life around.  The years she lost to addiction left Cindy with a joy and zest for life, and she saw every day as a gift—an opportunity to make up for all the years she had missed.   In particular, Cindy relished every chance she had to spend time with family and shower them with gifts.

As much as she loved spending time with her family, though, the center of her daily life were her animals—Ashton, her cat, and Champs, her American bulldog / pitbull mix.  Champs had been rescued by Cindy’s son Josh shortly before his tragic and untimely death, and was a lifeline for Cindy in the years following his passing.  Champs, like Cindy, had a difficult past and, as a result, he had an aggressive nature (her family nicknamed him Cujo…), but Cindy loved him and doted on him.  They were inseparable, and her devotion to Champs and refusal to give up on him (no matter how difficult he made her life at times, or how terrified her family was of him!) was another testament to Cindy’s compassion towards those who had experienced suffering.  This past September, she was able to scratch off a “bucket list” item for Champs when she took him to see the ocean for the first time. The joy on her face watching his joy, as he rolled in the sand and frolicked in the waves, was priceless.

Cindy was a creative person with an innate artistic gift who loved to draw and paint, loved all music, and especially loved to dance.  Her downstairs neighbor often heard Cindy singing to Champs as she brought him outside for a walk at 4:00 in the morning before Cindy left for her early shift at the diner.  Who sings at 4:00 a.m.?!

Cindy’s defining attribute was her compassion for all people—especially those struggling in life. Even when she could not afford it herself, Cindy would see someone less fortunate and want to help them. Just recently, despite mounting medical bills and having to take a leave from work due to her heart condition, she “had” to go to Target to buy warm clothing for a homeless man she had seen lingering around the Wawa across the street from her apartment. That is the essence of who Cindy was. 

Cindy is survived by her sisters Sandra Fielding, Doreen Schanamann, Bernadette (Anthony) Duffy, her brother Edward (Jill) McHugh, and many nieces and nephews.  She was predeceased by her son, Joshua McHugh, and her sister, Michelle Wagner.  Cindy is also the birth mother to seven children who, in an act of loving sacrifice, she selflessly placed with loving adoptive parents.

Relatives and friends are invited to her Visitation Saturday, March 9, 2024, 8:30 to 10:00 AM at The Donohue Funeral Home, 3300 West Chester Pike, Newtown Square, PA  19073, 610-353-6300, followed by her Funeral Mass 10:30 AM, at St. Pius X Church, 220 Lawrence Road, Broomall, PA  19008.   Interment SS. Peter and Paul Cemetery, Springfield, PA.  Following interment, please join Cynthia’s family for a luncheon at Springfield Country Club, 400 W. Sproul Road, Springfield, PA   19064.

In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to the Friedreich’s Ataxia Research Alliance (FARA), a charity that Cindy was passionate about.

FARA, 533 W. Uwchlan Avenue, Downingtown, PA 19335, 484-879-6160.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Cynthia "Cindy" Louise Smith, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services


Saturday, March 9, 2024

8:30 - 10:00 am (Eastern time)

Donohue Funeral Home - Newtown Square

3300 West Chester Pike, Newtown Square, PA 19073

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Saturday, March 9, 2024

10:30 - 11:30 am (Eastern time)

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Saturday, March 9, 2024

Starts at 12:00 pm (Eastern time)

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