July 11, 1970 ~ September 24, 2019

Cynthia Gerdes (née Crooks) of Lee’s Summit, MO, born July 11, 1970, died September 24, 2019 in the home of her parents, Jim and Ginger Crooks, in St. Louis, MO. She died after living 13 months with stage 4 lung cancer and metastatic brain disease, living the last nine months under the care of BJC Hospice.

Cynthia was born and raised in St. Louis, MO, lived abroad briefly after college in London and Spain before moving to Ann Arbor, MI, Delmar, NY, and eventually settling down with her family in Lee’s Summit, MO. She devoted her life to her surviving children Aaron and Kyle Gerdes, and she served many children as a dedicated school counselor at Raytown Middle School for nearly a decade.

Cynthia was a lover of life with an infectious laugh and smile and an inspiration for many to live a righteous life. She was an avid runner, competing in many races and enjoying Saturday mornings running with friends and having coffee with them afterwards. She also thoroughly enjoyed playing tennis as her father gave her a passion for the sport. Her favorite tennis memories include playing in many USTA leagues, tennis with him and their trip to the US Open in 2014. Cynthia was also an active participant at Lee’s Summit Community Church.

Along with her sons and parents, Cynthia is also survived by partner Jan Robert Claussen, her siblings Carol Crooks and Cathy Zimmerman, daughter-in-law Amber Gerdes, and former husband and father of her two children Kurt Gerdes.

Memorials and Life Celebrations are planned on Saturday, October 5, 2019 in St. Louis at St. Paul’s UCC in Oakville, 2:30 p.m. family visitation and 4 p.m. service, and in Lee’s Summit, MO on the afternoon of Saturday, October 19, following the Kansas City marathon that morning. The Kansas City marathon also includes a half-marathon, 10K, and 5K, which we invite you to run in her honor. In addition to the Kansas City marathon, Cynthia’s chosen charity, the Raytown Educational Foundation, is hosting the “Run for Excellence” 5K on the preceding weekend, Saturday, Oct. 12 in Raytown, MO. Please join us in running both or either race in her memory. Memorial donations may be made to the Raytown Educational Foundation or GBS Foundation International.