SEQUIM — Friends and neighbors, along with members and staff at Sunland Golf & Country Club, gathered at the club this month to honor Cynthia Little’s legacy.
A ceremony was held for Little at the club’s pool, where a plaque dedicated the pool to Little as well as a bench that will be placed near her Sunland home on Hurricane Drive.
A statue of her dog, Jack, also was made with a name tag that reads “brave to the end.”
Little and her dog were killed May 4, 2017, in her Sunland home.
Benjamin Bonner, 19, is charged with second-degree murder in the death of Little, who was a family friend.
He has pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity.
Bonner also is charged with first-degree animal cruelty and first-degree robbery for allegedly killing Little’s dog and driving Little’s vehicle from her residence to his Bainbridge Island home.
Bonner is being held on $1.5 million bail.
Sunland Owners Association president Fred Smith talked about Little’s time at Sunland during the June 17 ceremony, recalling her devotion to managing, supervising and making sure the Sunland pool and its visitors were taken care of when she was a lifeguard.
Smith said he met Little when she was in charge of the pool, and that she ingrained in him the seriousness of the job and pool responsibilities. He also noted Little was always striving to help children as well as others.
“We lost a great and valuable asset,” Smith said.
Several Sunland residents and friends shared how Little was always looking out for and helping others, both within and outside the Sunland community.
Little followed several pursuits in her life, from being a Dominican nun to law student to math teacher of 30 years.
Little retired to Sequim in 2003.
“She was so well loved by our community,” said Sunland resident Maggie Philbin, a close friend of Little’s.
Philbin said she met Little when she was walking dogs one day in Sunland and that her sister Bernie also became fast friends with Little. She said Little’s philosophy was to “do for others,” always.
“She was a very giving and loving person,” Philbin said.
Some friends and Sunland community members sported Little’s favorite color — purple — in their attire. Planters with purple flowers were placed throughout the venue as well as purple beach balls dispersed in and around the pool.
Emma Jones, another close friend of Little’s and a fellow volunteer with Clallam County Court Appointed Special Advocates — part of a national program that supports and promotes court-appointed advocates for abused or neglected foster care children — also attested to Little’s selflessness.
“She was always doing something to help someone else,” Jones said. “It’s a huge loss to our community.”
A portion of the Clallam County Courthouse also has been dedicated to Little’s name, as “Little’s Library.”
Little was active at St. Joseph’s Roman Catholic Church in Sequim, a substitute teacher at Queen of Angels, a member of the Newcomer’s Club and she supported the lives of friends and neighbors.
Erin Hawkins is a reporter with the Olympic Peninsula News Group, which is composed of Sound Publishing newspapers Peninsula Daily News, Sequim Gazette and Forks Forum. Reach her at [email protected].