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Cynthia June Tennison-Heidecker-Smith


Cynthia June "Cindy" TENNISON was born May 18, 1948 at Methodist Hospital in Dallas, Texas and left to be with the Lord October 25, 2016 in Melissa, Texas. She lived in Dallas until the eighth grade and during her early years in Dallas, she attended the Gospel Lighthouse Church founded by her grandfather, Rev. J.C. Hibbard, Sr. Her parents, June Marie Hibbard-Tennison-Underwood and Ross Raymond Tennison provided a good Christian home for Cindy and her brother, Donald Ross "Don" Tennison.

Cindy and her brother Don grew up in Dallas. There were many memorable visits to California to visit their grandparents, Lillian and Larry Ash during the summer. After a move from Downey, California, Lillian and Larry moved to Big Bear Lake, California where they owned and managed a ski resort/lodge. Cindy and Don helped clean the cabins at the ski lodge and always went for a frosted root beer afterwards. They played with Lillian and Larry's English Bull Dog, Duke, who ate ice cream every night.

California was beautiful and the weather was pleasant all year round, so pleasant that Don never forgot it. He later moved there and has been there ever since. Lillian, who they called "Mee Maw" taught Don and Cindy etiquette. She taught them to ask to be excused from the table, proper table settings and other etiquette. This was quite a surprise to June, their mom, when they arrived back in Dallas. During one of the California visits, Lillian had Cindy's hair cut, a memorable occasion since it had been very long before. When she returned home in Dallas and got off the plane wearing high heels and a short haircut, her mother didn't recognize her.

Shortly after a divorce, Cindy's mother June was asked to manage a motel and restaurant in Winnsboro, Texas called The Trade Winn. At first, Cindy was extremely unhappy about this decision and was very vocal about her being sent to a "hick" town. Feeling that this was God's plan, June took Cindy and Don to Winnsboro anyway and it proved to be a very wise decision which had a positive impact on all their lives. Winnsboro was a slower paced small town, but the people there were wonderful. Cindy and Don still have friends from East Texas that they keep in contact with after all these years.

Education was very important in that community. Cindy began to have a desire to go to college to become a teacher. One of her teachers, Miss Burkham, along with other teachers prepared her very well to meet the challenge. She was offered the opportunity to attend college between her junior and senior year in high school. She earned college credit, but Texas Christian University in Ft. Worth was not what Cindy expected. The party atmosphere was very uncomfortable. Cindy decided college was not for her, but her mother again ignored her immaturity and encouraged her to attend Baylor in Waco upon graduation from high school in 1966. She attended Baylor and loved it! She went summer, fall and spring, non-stop and earned her B.A. in three years. She was offered a fellowship to complete her Masters degree which she accepted and earned her M.S. in1970.

In August of 1970, Cindy married Paul Heidecker from Beaumont, Texas, the son of Juanita and Harold Heidecker. Soon after their marriage, Cindy and Paul moved to Houston, Texas where Cindy began her teaching career in the Spring Branch School District teaching fourth grade. She taught for two and a half years, but when she became pregnant with their first child, laws would only allow her to substitute teach.

On June 4, 1973, Kelli Denise Heidecker, was born and became their pride and joy. A few months later Cindy was again pregnant and 15 months later Kimberly June Heidecker was born on September 7, 1974. Both daughters brought much joy to their lives and Paul wanted Cindy to stay home and nurture them.

Paul was an office supply salesman representing several companies and provided a comfortable living for his family. Cindy was a housewife until the girls began school, then Cindy went back to teaching half days at Christ Memorial Lutheran School. This was the life! Cindy got the girls off to school, straightened up the house, played racquetball, cleaned up, went to teach and got off just in time to pick the girls up from school. Kelli was involved in ice skating and Kim was in gymnastics and tap dancing.

Paul and Cindy found Long Point Baptist Church and became members there. Paul Stephens was the pastor and he and Joy became dear friends to Paul and Cindy. It was there that Cindy recognized her need to let Christ be the Lord of her life, not just her Savior. She had heard the Word all her life, but never really accepted the message to the point of total surrender. Her life changed through the power of the Lord and she has never been the same.

In 1984 Cindy heard that Dr. Mary Campbell and Nell Hibbard were founding a school, The Gospel Lighthouse Christian Academy. Cindy applied for employment and became a first grade teacher there. Being on the ground floor of a new school was exciting. God has blessed the school and Cindy was later appointed Elementary Principal. Cindy and Paul were divorced in May of 1996. There were many hurts, but God has been faithful and He has never failed.

She is grandmother of Zachary Kyle Ward born April 1, 1993, Alyson Elizabeth Ward born July 10, 1996 and Kaitlyn Ward born April 11, 2000.  Zachary plays the drums as well as any adult and has a beautiful singing voice. Alyson is also quite a singer. She loves music and dressing up. When you ask Kaitlyn, "Who loves Jesus?", she raises her hand! She loves the song, The B I B L E, Yes That's The Book For Me. Kaitlyn always ends the song with a very loud, "BIBLE!". She's inquisitive and gets into everything right now.

They are the children of Kimberly and Eddie Ward. They all bring joy and laughter into Cindy's life. God has gifted them all with musical talent. They love their Nana and their Aunt Kelli. Kelli has a real knack with children, a God-given gift of love. Kim has a beautiful voice and uses it in Christian ministry. Her husband, Eddie, serves God by using his gift of rhythm. He's a bongo drummer and also plays other percussion instruments. The greatest joy for Cindy is knowing that her family is serving the Lord!

Cindy met Ronald "Ron" Smith and discovered that they had many things in common, the most important being their relationships with God. They married on September 25, 2003. Cindy's aunt, Rev. Darlene Hibbard-Walker, who co-pastors a church with her husband in Hawaii, married them. They also celebrated their honeymoon in Hawaii while they were there.

Parents: Ross Raymond TENNISON and June Marie HIBBARD.

Spouse: Paul Jerome HEIDECKER. Paul Jerome HEIDECKER and Cynthia June "Cindy" TENNISON were married in Aug 1970.

Children: Kelli Denise HEIDECKER, Kimberly June HEIDECKER.

Grandson: Zachary Kyle WARD
Granddaughter: Alyson Elizabeth WARD
Granddaughter: Kaitlyn June WARD

Spouse: Ronald "Ron" SMITH. Ronald "Ron" SMITH and Cynthia June "Cindy" TENNISON were married September 25, 2003 in Hawaii.


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