Richards passes away

Former Estancia High basketball standout dies in hospital after an infection from a surgery.

July 15, 2008

Cyndi Richards, a 1995 Estancia High graduate and former basketball standout, passed away Thursday at the age of 31 in New York.

Jill Black, a friend and former teammate of Richards, said the coroner is trying to figure out the cause of death. Black said Richards had undergone surgery in April to remove a non-cancerous tumor that had spread to the pelvis, on both sides, and was attached to the wall of her rectum.

“She had an infection in the incision,” Black said. “She got an infection and a fever two weeks ago. She was in to clean the incision [Wednesday] and get her fever down. Obviously I was shocked and devastated [when I heard she passed away the next day].


“I’m going to remember her energy and excitement and love for life. She was a tremendous friend, everyone’s favorite friend.”

Richards’ former Estancia girls’ basketball coach Russ Davis, now the women’s basketball coach at Vanguard University, said Richards “put a smile on everyone’s face.”

Richards is survived by her husband, Alex Kennedy Kuffel, two children, Cole and Kali, and her father, Robert Richards, brother, Jeff Richards, sister, Teri Haddon, and a large extended family.

Funeral services will be held today in Marblehead, Mass. A celebration of Richards’ life will be also held Tuesday at the American Legion Hall Post 291 on 215 E. 15th St. in Newport Beach from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m.

In lieu of flowers, people are encouraged to make memorial contributions in Richards’ name to the Endowment Fund at the Wyckoff Family YMCA, P.O. Box 203, 691 Wyckoff Ave., Wyckoff, NJ 07481. Richards was the director of the YMCA’s afterschool program.

— From staff reports

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