Cindy is survived by her loving husband, Wayne R. Nielsen; mother, Betty J. Dunkeson; sisters, Patricia L. (Tom) Newman and Deann (Craig) Overfelt; sisters-in-law, Donna (Dick) Pfeil, Denise (Mark) Hall; nieces and nephew, Sara B. Newman, Holly (Shane) Johnson, and Eric (Sharon) Lindberg. She is preceded in death by her father, Robert L. Dunkeson.
Cindy grew up in Jefferson City, Mo., and graduated from Jefferson City High School. She was accomplished academically with a B.S. degree from the University of Missouri and an M.S. in recreation and park administration and an M.S. in natural science from the University of Wyoming.
Cindy was hired as a seasonal ranger naturalist in Grand Teton National Park in the summer of 1972, where she met her future husband, Wayne Nielsen. Cindy and Wayne were married in 1973 in Jefferson City, Mo.
Cindy had a long and successful career with the National Park Service, serving in Grand Teton, Death Valley, Channel Islands, Glacier, Navajo NM, Roosevelt-Vanderbilt NHS and Albright Training Center located in Grand Canyon National Park. She garnered many awards.
Cindy retired in 2007 as superintendent of Great Basin National Park in Nevada and has since lived in Moab, Utah. Her short retirement was occupied with her love of fly-fishing, gardening, birding, reading and traveling with her husband.
Cindy will be remembered as someone who was intelligent, dependable, strong, determined, kind, respectful, giving and lovable. Her love of the outdoors and nature in all of its aspects has been and will continue to be an inspiration to all who knew her. Her family will be forever grateful to all the doctors, medical staff members, family, and friends who assisted her through her difficult journey with breast cancer.
A private service will be held on a future date. In lieu of flowers the family requests contributions are made to the National Park Foundation at https://myaccount.nationalparks.org/donate.