Love and memories last forever...
  • 64 years old
  • Born on October 19, 1952 .
  • Passed away on October 23, 2016 .

Cindy Lee McConnell of Binghamton, NY passed away suddenly on Oct. 23 2016. She was 64 years old.

Cindy was born at 1:30am, Oct. 19, 1952, in Fort Monmouth, NJ to Gloria and Thomas McConnell.  Cindy grew up in Monmouth County, NJ with her older sister Alice and younger brother Wayne. She graduated from Long Branch High School in 1970 and continued her studies in Animal Science at SUNY Delhi and Brookdale Community College. Cindy was a friendly and sweet girl that always had a smile on her face.  She loved animals and always found a way to have them in her life either through work or at home.  She was never without a four-legged friend.

Cindy was an experienced Veterinary Technician and considered her time working for Great Adventure Safari her favorite job.  Over the years she worked as a bartender, server, home health aide, taxi driver, cashier, home visit supervisor for CPS and antique dealer. She’s tried just about everything.

Cindy lived in Texas, New York and Pennsylvania but always thought of Avon-by-the-Sea, NJ her true home.   She was happiest sitting on the beach reading a good book.  She loved yard and rummage sales and always was on the lookout for a good deal. She loved movies and could watch Beaches, The Big Chill, Fried Green Tomatoes, Steel Magnolias, An Officer and a Gentleman, Terms of Endearment and her favorite, Dirty Dancing, over and over again.  Cindy loved her TV shows. She adored “Little House on the Prairie” and admired the simple yet fulfilling life it portrayed. She could quote “Friends” at any moment and did, daily. Her favorite was “I Love Lucy” and she spoke about these characters as if dear friends.  And boy could she talk. Cindy never lacked for words, whether you wanted to hear them or not.

Cindy loved spending time with her daughters and grandchildren, especially at Christmastime.  Cindy was a master of the Christmas tree.  Every bulb, ornament and present had to be placed just so.  Every year you could count on pajamas, a scarf, socks and slippers under the tree. You could never leave Cindy’s house without a cup of her eggnog and homemade plum bread (at least that’s what she said it was).

Cindy met many people and touched every life she encountered in one way or another. She was selfless when it came to her children and always did everything she could to keep them safe and protected. When her health began to decline she decided to keep it to herself and put a smile on her face.  Cindy had her secrets and her demons, as we all do, but pushed them aside in the presence of those she loved.

Cindy is survived by her daughters Jennifer (Eric) Petersen of Egg Harbor City, NJ, and Sara McConnell-Tiano of Pittston, PA, grandchildren,  Emma Grace and Lucas Wayne, sister Alice Pinion of Long Branch, NJ,  niece Lisa (Michael) Mahoney of Fuquay Varina, NC and nephews Larry McConnell of Shirley, MA and Richard Pinion of Long Branch, NJ

Cindy was preceded in death by her mother Gloria VanNote (Strohm), step-father Elwood VanNote, brother Sidney Wayne McConnell and numerous pets.

A celebration of Life will be held at Steelmantown Cemetery, 101 Steelmantown Rd. Woodbine, NJ 08270, on Saturday November 5, 2016 at 11:00 am. Interment to follow. Thoughts and wishes may be extended to the family at

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the ASPCA or to the McConnell family donation page at

Thank you to everyone who contributed to Cindy’s burial fund and who supported the family at this difficult time.  A very special thank you to Dan Avidan for his unparalleled generosity and kindness.



Posted by Joan Ross on 4th November 2016
Cindy, I'll never forget the day when I so needed your expertise in animal care. When I rescued a kitten back in 2007, I had no idea that she was already pregnant. When it was close to her delivery, I had no idea what I was doing but I figured Mother Nature would take care of her when she was birthing. Well, I was definitely wrong about that and I was in just as much pain as that kitten was when she was in labor. She was so young and I knew that she wouldn't make it if she didn't have someone there to help her. Me do it??? No way. I couldn't help my kids guinea pig when she was in labor, so a cat was definitely out of the question. I called you right away and you were over in five minutes. I watched you help Mama deliver her first baby. You cleaned him up, washed his little body and face and you massaged him to get him stimulated. You named him Butterscotch. A few hours later, another one and then one last one. You stayed well into the night and I remember me and you eating sandwiches and watching Mama take care of her babies. You had such a way with all animals and a true love for them. You even loved those rats, which I never did understand, but you never did discriminate, you loved anything with 4 legs. Now you're in God's hand, free of sickness, being able to breath in all that glorious air and be with all those animals that you loved so much. Watch over your girls and your grandchildren and keep them safe. I know they are hurting right now, but soon the pain will fade and they will remember all the wonderful memories you all created together.

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