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Obituaries » Cynthia Irene Tamkin

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Cynthia Irene Tamkin

March 25, 1938 - March 3, 2017

Services Date March 13, 2017

Obituary Viewed 276 times

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Posted by:
Nancy Leah Karpoff

Posted on:
February 11, 2019

I was looking up Leah to hopefully reconnect with her and her mom who I deeply admired and respected. I was saddened to read that Leah had passed away at such a young age. I remember her as a small child and enjoyed talking to her and Marcie. She was always so upbeat and sweet as a little girl. I am so sorry to hear of their loss.

Posted by:
Douglas Arendt

Posted on:
August 5, 2018

I am a training supervisor for SCE's Control Systems group. As our work involves telecom, electronics and computers, Leah became very interested in our group and began involving us in some of her training programs. The detail and thoroughness in her training became apparent very quickly. She had a hard-charging personality and that dry humor that goes so well with something as unexciting as technical training. She would always flag me down for a chat if I was in the area, and often came by to talk to me, our crew supervisor or our manager in depth about future training plans. She was a great asset to the company and her sudden passing was a shock and disappointment to many. Her shoes will be hard to fill, if they are filled at all. She was one of a kind. Peace to her family and acquaintances.

Posted by:
Cheryl Mullally

Posted on:
July 31, 2018

I am so so sad to hear this news. I just figured out what happened today and just can't believe she's gone. I work at Edison and met Leah several years ago and we instantly clicked....we were friends ever since. Leah was an intense light and had a great sense of humor and she loved her Lego's! I always enjoyed our lunches and conversation together and I learned so much from her as well....she was a wealth of knowledge and she really knew her area of expertise! Leah will be greatly missed and always remembered. My sincere condolences to her family and friends.

Posted by:
Lynne Marsenich

Posted on:
July 27, 2018

I was shocked to see Leah's obituary in the Claremont Courier today. I remember her best from Sycamore as she and my son Andrew Tsujimoto were friends. I loved her spirit and her curiosity. When Andrew as in 7th grade his best friend had cancer and could not attend school for the next two years. Those were the two hardest years of Andrew's young life. He once told me the only thing that made it bearable was talking to Leah about how he felt because she understood. I am so sorry - I can't imagine what you the pain you must be feeling.

Posted by:
antonia gonzales

Posted on:
July 2, 2018

I knew Leah from working at SCE. She was an incredible person. My condolence to her family and friends. I will miss her.

Posted by:
Chris & Shelli Bradley

Posted on:
July 2, 2018

Peace to you. May God be with you always.

Posted by:
Larry Horowitz

Posted on:
July 2, 2018

In the movie, the Last Samurai, there was a moment after the death of the last samurai when the emperor asks how he died, and the American soldier (played by Tom Cruise) answers….I will not tell you how he died, let me tell you how he lived….. Our daughter Leah lived her life passionately and courageously. She was our youngest daughter and a loving pest to her two older sisters. She vowed to be the world’s greatest aunt when her nephew was born. While she seemed to have a tough exterior, she was actually a very deeply feeling, highly sensitive person who felt and experienced everything around her. Even as young as pre-school, she had a deep reverence for life and was in awe of the natural beauty and wonder of the world around her. She would look at the sky and comment on the beauty of the sun’s rays emanating beyond the clouds; she would freak out if someone killed a bug because it was supposed to be allowed to live. Even when she encountered Crick-Zilla, a larger than life cricket that had perched itself on her pillow and as she opened her eyes, there it was, staring back at her. She screamed hysterically; at the same time, she wanted to make sure we only removed it from her room and did not kill it. As a young child, Leah was intrigued with archeology and paleontology. There were many “digs” in our backyard. Her interest in dinosaurs was insatiable, we must own every one Fisher-Price ever made. She was fascinated with Egyptian history and at one point insisted that she was to be mummified after she died. As she grew older, her interest and curiosity only grew. Leah became a renaissance woman, one with many talents and passions; an energetic, active scholar-athlete who was creative and innovative. In junior high she discovered woodworking, metalworking, science, math, cross country and extreme biking. She became an accomplished soccer player and developed a love of running. She was determined to letter in every sport once she entered high school and she did; she was on the varsity cross country team, played water polo and soccer and became a record-setting pole vaulter for Claremont High School. As a scholar-athlete, she received an athletic scholarship as a walk-on for the track and Field team Fresno State University. Her teammates called her “Packy” because she would practice her running while wearing a 120 pound backpack. Leah eventually decided to return to L.A. area, where she continued as an athlete for Cal-State LA and completed her degree in Nutrition. She soon figured out she did not want to work as a dietician and began exploring the world of technology. It was during this time Leah found a new sport, Roller Derby. She joined the Prison City Derby Dames in Chino and trained to become a “jammer”. This is the player who must skate around the other team to score points. Leah (Squint) was petite but strong as a line-baker; one could only watch with awe as she pushed her way through the pack to score for her team. Leah liked to work with her mind and her hands, and when she entered the electronics program at Mt. San Antonio College, she found a new passion and her niche in life. Electronics satisfied her intellectual curiosity along with her creative skills. She became a leading student amongst her peers. She became a teaching assistant in the program and participated on the Career-Tech Advisory Council at Mt. Sac. while completing her AA in Electronics. It was at this time she was discovered by Gary from Southern California Edison. He recognized that SCE could benefit from her knowledge, passion, and abilities and he encouraged her to apply for an internship within the company. Leah competed with 500 applicants for the 10 positions available; she was selected and had found a job that allowed her to use her knowledge and talents as a scholar, athlete, creative artist, and coach. There are no words to describe how excited she was to become a member of the SCE family. Leah worked in the telecom part of SCE, beginning in the construction crew and learning the job. She was the only women on the crew and she quickly earned the respect and admiration from her crew mates as one who could literally carry her weight in the role. In less than 2 years, she was asked to consider a position that was opening up, training coordinator for the field technicians. She applied and was eventually selected from amongst several applicants. It was in this position that Leah could truly use all of her knowledge, talents, and skills. As a field technician, she had experienced the challenges of teams not optimizing their talents among and across teams. She used her skills as a coach to help bring different groups together, finding common ground and shared goals to optimize the talents of individuals and teams for the benefit of the organization. Leah was guided by a deep sense of social justice and equity. She spoke her mind when needed and stood on her principles. She had to live her life on her terms and as her parents we respected and supported her. She never berated anyone she met even if she disagreed. She was a giant among her peers, and yet she was very humble. Leah was affected by those she met and she affected all with whom she interacted. She truly had a gift of bringing people together, helping them explore the diverse perspectives of an issue, helping them find a shared vision and goals for the common good. She did not just possess a spark of the divine, she possessed a divine flame. A special soul, a unique soul; she was one of a kind. She was aware of how much she was loved by those who knew her and she deeply loved her family, friends, and peers. Our hearts are broken, our souls are in pain as we prepare to say goodbye to our daughter, grand-daughter, sister, aunt, and niece at such a young age. We believe Leah’s soul was needed elsewhere in this universe to pass on her sense of duty and righteousness, her love, skills, and kindness to build a better world—Tikkun Olam. We have only touched on Leah’s many accomplishments, there is so much more to share and so much more we can learn from all you. Do not ask us how Leah died, rather let us share with one another how she lived…..

Posted by:
Anonymous

Posted on:
June 30, 2018

I will miss Leah's passion for change and her dedication to helping others learn. My sincerest condolences to the entire family.

Posted by:
Jenny Peterson Higdon

Posted on:
March 15, 2017

I'm deeply grieved by the passing of my beautiful Aunt Cynthia I grew up with her as almost my second mom. Talented and gifted as a writer, she included me in her works. Always giving above and beyond, loving deeply. Her life touched so many and I have a hole in my heart without her. I love you Aunt Cynthia Forever your little. chick Jen Wren