My heart has skipped a couple of beats since I got the news moments ago that Cynthia Manker, former Associate Editor of Inglewood Today, has passed. While I am still trying to wrap my head around what has happened, I am certain she is in a better place.
Cynthia was forced to quit working in 2011 when she had a stroke. She never made a full recovery, although she continued to receive treatment and rehabilitation. Prior to this, she was plagued by other health challenges. But regardless, there are not many people I have met with more energy. Even when she would have temporary setbacks with her health, she fought on like a soldier. She was small in stature—around 4’11”—but she stood tall.
Cynthia came to work for Inglewood Today in 1998. She loved theatre and was known for entertainment reviews. But reporting was just one of her many talents. She emceed the Inglewood Business Opportunity Network (IBON) breakfasts, which is the nonprofit arm of Inglewood Today. Folks loved her entertaining presentations. Part actress and comedian, Cynthia often did improvisational skits to make announcements. She was never boring.
Cynthia went well beyond the call of duty for our company. Until she became sick, she regularly covered Inglewood Council meetings. That was back in the days when meetings went well into the night. Somehow she got it done along with the other stories.
In addition, Cynthia sold ads for our newspaper as well as sponsorships for Inglewood Today events. She was in charge of promoting the successful and first ever Hollywood Park Jazz Festival, which was presented by Inglewood Today, a massive undertaking which she made look almost effortless.
An entrepreneur in her own right, Cynthia had her own public relations firm, serving companies and nonprofits locally. As if putting together a weekly newspaper, selling ads, promoting concerts and running a part-time business were not enough, she still found time to volunteer at community events and at her church.
It was amazing just watching her work. And if she had done nothing else, it would have been enough, but there was more…
Cynthia was the mother of two daughters: Kiahna and Shauntelle. In the early days of her employment, Cynthia would drive from Inglewood to pick up Kiahna, who attended a private school in Palos Verdes. This was not an easy feat for a single mom. But she was determined to provide her daughters with the best education possible. Both graduated from college, and Shauntelle is a doctor today.
I could go on and on about Cynthia’s creativity and strong work ethic. But more than anything, Cynthia was a loyal friend and a woman of faith who was kind to everyone she met. I never heard her say a negative word about anybody.
The Inglewood Today family will miss Cynthia Manker and although she could not continue working with us, she remained a part of our family. Our condolences go out to her family and friends. There are many.