Cynthia Nan Hull, executive director of United Community Ministries in Alexandria, died March 16, 2012 from complications of non-smoker's lung cancer at Mount Desert Island Hospital, Bar Harbor, Maine.
Cynthia was born Oct. 11, 1949 in Alliance, Ohio, and raised there before moving to Miami, Fla., as a child. She spent the majority of her professional life in Northern Virginia. She was a dedicated daughter, sister, mother, and, for the past two years, a delighted grandmother.
Cynthia had a long and distinguished career in the social and human services fields. Before joining United Community Ministries (UCM) in 2007 as executive director, Cynthia served for 14 years as both president and executive director of Offender Aid and Restoration (OAR) of Arlington. Prior to that, she served as both deputy director and volunteer coordinator for 10 years at Offender Aid and Restoration of Fairfax County. While at OAR, she developed a nationally duplicated volunteer training program.
Cynthia's work extended into service on several boards of directors, working groups and committees to promote the well being of disadvantaged populations. She served as president and member of the board of directors of the International Association of Justice Volunteerism and was a member of the board of directors of Offender Aid and Restoration, USA. She also served as a member of the Arlington County Criminal Justice Coordinating Council, the Virginia Commonwealth Secretary of Public Safe Committee on Coordination of Post-Release Service to Offenders, Youthbuild’s educational and vocational program of Vanguard Services for at-risk youth and the Virginia Department of Corrections Task Force on Volunteerism.
Cynthia’s intelligence, wisdom and genuine concern for others made her a champion of justice and an agent of change on such social challenges as poverty, homelessness, mental illness, and child abuse and neglect. Among other things, she will be remembered for her tireless dedication to improving lives. During the course of her life and career, Cynthia brought help and hope and to tens of thousands of people, each of whom she saw as an individual with promise.
Cynthia’s approach was always one of partnership and inclusion. Whether at the individual, organizational or community levels, Cynthia sought to share resources and knowledge for the ultimate greater good. She believed passionately that all people as a society share a common humanity and, with that, an obligation to help those who are struggling.
Throughout her work, Cynthia consistently put the welfare of others before her own.
Cynthia played an active role in several local community organizations and workgroups in southeastern Fairfax County, including Ventures in Community, which she co-chaired for two years; the South County Leadership Coalition; the Healthy Families Fairfax executive committee and advisory council; Non-profit NOVA, and the Route 1 Task Force for Human Services. She also served as a member of the Fairfax County 10-Year Plan to Prevent and End Homelessness steering committee and the Breakthrough Series Collaborative on Timely Reunification. She was also an organizing member of Fairfax CARES.
For her dedication, Cynthia earned many awards and accolades. She was named a Person of Vision, “Women Pioneering the Future” by the Arlington Commission on the Status of Women and a Leader in Criminal Justice Volunteerism by the International Association of Justice Volunteerism. She received U.S. Presidential Certificates by Volunteers in Prevention, Probation and Prisons, Inc. for the outstanding service to the volunteer criminal justice movement. She was an honorable mention in Women Making a Difference by WDCA-TV, the National Museum of Women in the Arts and the Chevy Chase Bank. She also received an honorable mention for the Special Achievement for Women Award by the Fairfax County Commission for Women.
Cynthia earned both a master of arts and a bachelor of arts degree in sociology from the University of South Florida, Tampa and completed coursework towards a Ph.D. in sociology at the University of Florida, Gainesville.
Surviving Cynthia are her parents, Duane and R. Edwina Hull of Lake Wales, Fla.; son, Duncan Holley; daughter-in-law, Kristin Holley and grand-daughter, Pierce Holley of Bar Harbor, Maine; sister, Vida Hull of Johnson City, Tenn., and nephew, Marky Billson of Pittsburgh, Pa.
A memorial to celebrate the life and work of Cynthia will be held at Bethlehem Baptist Church, 7836 Fordson Road, Alexandria, on March 31, 2012 at 3:30 p.m. The Rev. Jeri Fields will officiate.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to United Community Ministries in Alexandria.