Cover photo for Cynthia Ruth Muna's Obituary
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Cynthia Ruth Muna

May 20, 1967 — January 6, 2023

Cynthia Ruth Muna

Dr. Cynthia Ruth (Erickson) Muña

Born on May 20th, 1967, at Pembina County Memorial Hospital in Cavalier, North Dakota, to Clifford Earl Erickson & Carol Roberta (Thronsedt) Erickson.

“I am a Taurus on the Gemini cusp, born under a gibbous Moon” Dr Cynthia R. Muña

Died on January 6th, 2023, at her Texas residence in Lakeside outside of Mathis, TX. She passed peacefully, surrounded by love as her body released her spirit into nature carried by rays of sunshine as she took her last breaths.

Growing up her family called her “Cindy", as an adult she preferred to be called Cynthia.

Cynthia grew up in Devils Lake, ND to a large family as the middle child of 7 children. As a family the grew their own garden each year, which started her love of plants. She participated in tracking animals, as her parents and brothers would bow and rifle hunt. Her favorite part of elementary school was her subscription to the Scholastic Weekly Reader program, which began her great love of words. She proudly declared herself a “wordsmith”. She was a voracious reader. She participated in track and field and was on the Basketball team at Devils Lake Central High School, from which she graduated in 1985. She obtained her Cosmetologist license and used that occupation to help her further her Education. She married her first husband, Karl Newell in Grand Forks, ND but later divorced.

Cynthia then relocated to the Seattle Washington area and met Peter Muña, whom she married in an amazing ceremony in Guam in June 1995. They resided in the Seattle area for a few years, and she futhered her education. She first obtained her BA in Human Services in 1999 & her M. Ed. in Adult Education in 2001, both degrees from Western Washington University in Bellingham, WA. She and Peter also lived in the Minneapolis, MN area, and settled in Albany, OR in 2004. She and Peter shared their home with their beloved dogs, Atlas and Rueben. Cynthia obtained a position at Oregon State University, Corvallis, OR in the Disability Services Department and was there from 2004-2008. She and Peter divorced in 2007. Cynthia considered Peter, her Greatest Love. She was so honored and loved by him that she asked to keep his name.

In 2008 Cynthia then settled in Minnesota with her partner Ricardo “Ricky” Gonzalez, during which time she continued her career in higher education at North Hennepin Community College (2008-2019). Cynthia continued to pursue her education and received her EdS degree in  Educational Technology and Multimedia Design from Walden University In 2013.

Cynthia and Ricky lived with their beloved dogs Bailey, Mundo and Lucy in Minnesota. When Cynthia’s parents fell ill and moved to nursing home, they adopted her mom’s dog, Trixie. She and Ricky separated in 2013.

Cynthia never had children, but greatly loved children. She treated her dogs like children and cared for each of them for the remainder of their lives. (Atlas, Rueben, Bailey, Mundo, Lucy & Trixie)

Cynthia loved to travel: Canada, Guam, Costa Rica (2007 solo trip), Germany (2007 she took her dad). In 2019 she quit her job so that she could travel and enjoy the rest of her days. In late 2020's she sold her home in Minnesota and traveled to North Dakota. In 2021 she traveled from North Dakota to Maine solo, then in October 2021 She traveled with her honorary nephew, Nick Tibbs. They traveled from Boston, MA down the Eastern seaboard and across the Gulf Coast to Texas in November 2021.

Cynthia was the “FUN” Auntie to her friends' children often buying age-inappropriate gifts, which the kids loved but the moms made them exchange. (i.e., a Sling shot with metal marbles for a 7-year-old, or video game with the wrong maturity rating)

Cynthia had a great love for plants & gardening. She enjoyed being outdoors, golfing, hiking, rollerblading, running and jet skiing. She had a spark that would shine and encompass all around her.

She was a free spirit, intuitive, smart and witty, who loved to converse with anyone, about music, art, and words. She was a gifted writer and a great negotiator. She loved history (especially WW2) and psychology. She was a Football Fanatic. Anytime football was on she was watching it. She had a passion for music of all types. The last few years she would binge watch movies, historical documentaries, true crime shows, and lastly Yellowstone.

Cynthia’s wishes were to be cremated and released back into nature. Her ashes will nurture a Crepe Myrtle tree at Angela’s in Texas, a Weeping Willow tree to be planted on at Corey and Bonnies Farm in North Dakota on (April 28, 2023); and to her beloved Peter in Albany, OR.

Cynthia is survived by:

Her previous Husbands; Peter Muńa, Albany, OR, as she would say: “Her one great Love.” and Karl Newell, Oshkosh, WI.

Her past partner: Ricardo "Ricky” Gonzalez, Elk River, MN

Her Siblings: Andrea (Gunther) Ortlieb, Steinheim, Germany, Cheri (Darryle) Graff, Bismarck, ND Chad (Peggy) Erickson, Lisbon, ND, Clifton (Sara) Erickson, Bismarck, ND Corey (Bonnie) Erickson, Devils Lake, ND Carol (Jason) Archbold, Fargo ND and Chaun (Denise) Erickson, Lincoln, NE

Numerous nieces and nephews, great nieces and great nephews, and her honorary nieces and nephews.

Her “Honorary Sister” Angela (Tomas Zambrano) Tibbs, or “The Good Twin” as Cynthia would say-just separated by biology and age.

Preceded in death by: Her Parents Clifford & Carol (Thronsedt) Erickson; grandparents, Leonard and Pearl (Sando) Erickson, Clifford and Ruth (Flaten) Thronsedt.

Her Precious Dogs: Mr. Atlas, Ms. Rueben, Ms. Bailey, Mr. Mundo, Ms. Lucy, and Ms. Trixie


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