Cynthia Brudnick of Swampscott and Chilmark died Feb. 8, following an 11-month battle against glioblastoma. She was 62.

Born May 13, 1957, Cynthia grew up in Haverhill. She graduated from the University of Vermont in 1979 and received a master’s degree in communication from the University of Pennsylvania. She had a passion for music and photography, but her greatest joy came from creating beauty and happiness to share with others. A party planner par excellence, her ability to keep a secret and throw magnificent surprise parties commanded great respect far and wide — especially from her husband.

She was struck by multiple sclerosis as a young mother, but never let it overcome her strong will and zest for life. Determined not to let the disease define her, from her pain she drew purpose, channeling her knowledge and experience into her role as a patient advocate helping newly diagnosed MS patients find their way. Throughout her life and during her battle first with MS and ultimately with brain cancer, her courage, strength and grace were an inspiration to all who knew her.

Martha’s Vineyard was a special place for her from the moment she and her future husband stepped off the ferry more than 30 years ago. Like so many, the beauty of the Island and its people brought her back time and again. After fulfilling a long-held dream of becoming a seasonal resident, she poured her heart and soul into building a home where her family and friends could gather for years to come. The house now stands as one among her many lasting gifts.

She is survived by her husband Richard Brudnick; her children Adam, Paul and Jonathan Brudnick; a sister Dianne Abbott, brother David Schlafman. She was predeceased by her parents, Florence and Leon Schlafman.

A funeral service was held Tuesday in Salem, followed by a gathering in her memory at the Marriott Peabody. Private interment in Chilmark will follow.

Donations can be made to Massachusetts General Hospital (

Arrangements are under the care of Stanetsky Hymanson funeral home in Salem. For information or online guestbook, visit