About Cynthia Risk (Whitbeck)
Cynthia Whitbeck Risk of Cummington, MA died at home on March 13, 2009. The daughter of Sterling and Virginia Eastman Whitbeck, she was born in Northampton, MA, on July 10, 1924. She graduated from The Northfield School and Smith College. She received a master’s in economics from Yale University. She worked in financial institutions in New York City and Chicago. At Yale, she met her husband, Donald Thomas Risk, of Winnetka, IL. They had six children, including two sets of twins. Later she worked in the trust department of the First National Bank of Northampton and was Cummington town clerk.
Mrs. Risk’s artistic gifts shown through in many ways. She was an inspired and generous chef, needlepoint artist, and gardener. Among her many custom designed pieces is the needlepoint kneeler still used at the altar rail in St. Mary's-in-Tuxedo, Tuxedo Park, NY. She raised herbs, vegetables, and fragrant and beautiful flowers which she loved to give as gifts. Throughout her life she created beauty wherever she was.
Mrs. Risk was an enrolled member of the Flandreau Santee Sioux Tribe (Dakota). Dr. Charles Alexander Eastman (Ohiyesa), the first Native American to receive a medical degree, and the doctor who reported on the massacre of Wounded Knee, was her grandfather. She spoke fondly of trips camping and boating with her Grandpa and Uncle Ohi (Jr.) on Lake Huron.
Mrs. Risk leaves six children, four grandchildren and one great grandchild. Her children are Virginia Clay Risk of Fremont, CA, Victoria Read Risk of San Jose, CA, Alice Goodale Timmons of Jamaica Plain, MA, Constance Caneel Tropper-Risk of Kibbutz Nachshon, Israel, Alexander Spurr Risk of Cummington, MA and Douglas Sterling Risk of Pittsfield, MA. She is also survived by her sister Elaine Goodale Whitbeck, of Dallas, PA, and cousin Patricia Perkins of Pittsford, NY. Her husband Donald died in August 1978.