Cover photo for Cindy Jane Appolloni's Obituary
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1953 Cindy 2023

Cindy Jane Appolloni

October 28, 1953 — December 13, 2023

Cindy Jane Jones was born a brown haired blue eyed baby on 10/28/1953 in Milwaukee Wisconsin to Rhoda Tenna Copley and Billie Jo Jones. She was the eldest child and is survived by sisters Carol, Deborah, Jennifer, Suzanne and brother Larry. Cindy married David Alan Appolloni on June 9th 1984 becoming Cindy Jane Appolloni effectively becoming Italian as far as David’s old world father was concerned. She was greatly loved and respected by the Appolloni family. She was a long time member, student, and Cleric in Eckankar, the Path of Spiritual Freedom. She translated, died, on December 13th, 2023.
     
Cindy was born during the years of Shirley Temple and her sister Carol remembers her as greatly resembling Shirley. Curly hair, petite, with a bubbly personality. She quickly learned the power of a loving smile. She hated to get her clothes dirty and always wanted to look dressed up. She carried her unique and impeccable fashion sense throughout her life. Cindy road the school bus in Milwaukee alone at the age of six to kindergarten. One destination her father’s work led the family to was Louisville Mississippi in the mid sixties during the time of forced segregation. Just riding the school bus was a tense experience, especially if you offered to give up your seat to a black child, which Cindy and Carol soon discovered. Appleton, WI, was the families next destination. There she graduated from Appleton East high school in 1972. During this time of much social upheaval, she was not a supporter of the status quo. She was in strong support of the social changes taking place then and continued to be throughout her life.
   
 After high school she attended UW Oshkosh for a year before moving to Madison with the dream of becoming a nurse. Along the way she mentored in tailoring with a master tailor and worked a period of time for Rupert Cornelius on State Street in Madison. In 1982, she met her future husband at an Eckankar event she organized. They met in dreams that manifested into over forty years of life in this landscape of possibilities. In 1990, she graduated with a degree in nursing (second in her class) from MATC and became a Registered Nurse. She spent 10 years working primarily on the Neurosciences ICU unit at University Hospital in Madison  before she had to retire due to debilitating health issues which she battled the rest of her life. As a nurse she excelled not just with her technical skills, but moreover in her compassionate, holistic approach to patient care. For example she would keep lotions and creams available to keep longer term patients skin from becoming uncomfortably dry. This care was part of the training she gave new nurses she mentored. Ironically three of the nurses she formerly mentored, over twenty years ago, still worked the unit she was hospitalized on and were able to give loving care in return. During her short career she was honored by the UW Hospitals and Clinics with a special award sponsored by the Red Cross and others at a Monona Terrace “Real Heroes Awards “ dinner, along with winners in six categories. Her category was for “Courage and Kindness.” Add to that love and you get the essence of who she was. 
   
In the spare time that she had she used to do such things as make beautiful quilts for each of her nieces and nephews to celebrate their births. She also made an exceptional wedding dress for her sister Jennifer  and an infamous pair of satin pajamas for her first nephew David (with bunny buttons). During her life she also became accomplished in knitting, beadwork, and jewelry making. She learned and created these works of art almost always with the intention of gifting them to loved ones and friends. She also loved to cook and was particularly interested in creative experiments in seasoning exploration. She developed canning skills later in life. Along with all these interests and talents the most important element in her life (except perhaps her husband) were the four dog children she raised or rescued and adored. Pali, rescued from the remote wilderness in the mountains of Montana. Joey , a beloved Scottish Border Collie, who for fifteen years entertained himself and everyone around him with his relentless herding instincts. Sugar Bear, a Cocker Spanial intended to give Joey a friend and distraction, met with little success. She was well rewarded with special treats and a full life. Finally Leo, another rescue, a seven pound light golden colored Pommerainian service dog she carried everywhere in a baby sling across her shoulder for thirteen years, him with a quite demeanor, part princely satisfaction. She with a smile, part pride and part unconditional love from ear to ear. His death, coupled simultaneously with Covid, tested her resolve to the limit. Her last year and a half she regained enough stamina to more than ever reach out with love, joy, and grace to everyone she met. On walks no one was a stranger. She loved to take the neighbors dogs to the dog park to vicariously experience their joy in running and playing. Cindy also challenged herself to learn pickleball. She would be the first to admit she was not an athlete, but improved greatly the year she played with the help and patience of her friends. She played with laughter and joy, always pushing her limits.
     
Her last Thanksgiving’s day dinner was her best day ever cooking. She loved to cook for friends and guests, particularly on holidays when she could invite people who might otherwise be alone. 
     
A week later she awoke with a headache that never went away. Her unexpected departure leaves us all greatly saddened and diminished. She was and is a "Golden Hearted Soul", and though the death of her body leaves a great vacuum in our lives, her unconditional love continues on throughout the universe.
      
Cindy loved to dream big. We would laugh at what she called her “dreams of grandeur“, because they wouldn’t stop at what was realistically in reach. She always saw more potential for everything. I will remember how fiercely loyal she was. There was no doubt she was always on my side, always there when I needed her, and often when I didn’t realize I needed her. She shared a birthday with my daughter, Carly. She was excited to have a little birthday buddy and told me often how she felt we shared a special connection. They really did. Despite a nearly 60 year age difference, Cindy would have fun with Carly as if they were sisters. I’m not sure who had more fun. I am grateful for the countless times she helped me at the store, visited and gave me breaks at craft shows, threaded my serger machine, and taught and retaught me how to knit. Even more, I am grateful that she modeled for me ways to be a better friend, to give happily and generously, and to dream big. Cindy was one of the best. 
Robin
 
I think it was evident early on that Cindy’s mission this lifetime was to care for all the family, friends, and creatures that came into her life. She seemed to have an extra helping of love in her heart and was willing to share it. We were very fortunate to have her in our lives.
Diane
 
My first time living away from my parents was when I moved to Madison and lived with Cindy in the Livingston street apartment. I was excited to be away from home. Cindy was so good to me. She treated me like an adult, not a kid, which at the time was really important to me. We had so much fun staying up late watching movies, cooking different foods, and laughing about pretty much everything. I look back on that time so very fondly and will be ever thankful we got to spend that time together. With Cindy’s talent for sewing I really wanted her to make my wedding dress. She did such a beautiful job with it. We went to a special store to pick out the fabric and lace. My mom, Cindy, and I went to pick it all out. I know at times she got frustrated putting it all together, but she never let on. The dress was amazing and I cherish it still.
Jenny
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