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Cindy Groom-Harry

     Cindy Groom-Harry was born February 16, 1952 in Sibley, IA, the daughter of Robert Clarke and Charlene Patricia Wade-Jones Groom. Her sister, Sandy was born in 1956. Cindy graduated from West Sioux High School in 1970; from South Dakota State University with a Bachelor’s degree in art and journalism in 1974; from the University of South Dakota with a Master’s Degree in art in 1979; and over the next few years, earned an additional 36 post graduate hours in art education.

     On July 27, 1974 Cindy married her high school classmate, Lee R. Harry. In 1977 daughter, Bobbi Christine, was born. In 1979 daughter, Carin Shyla was born. Cindy taught elementary and high school art for fifteen years at West Sioux while also teaching middle school art at a private school for several years and college classes at Sioux Empire College for six years. In 1981 she started a side business of designing and writing for national magazines, which grew until she left teaching in 1989 to devote full time to her design career.

      In 1991, she and Lee founded and co-owned Craft Marketing Connections, Inc., a product development, marketing, public relations and consulting business. She and the CMC staff designed and wrote over 9,000 magazine articles, books, videos and made numerous television appearances. They created more than 3,000 products, projects and programs for internationally known clients including 3M, Reynolds/Alcoa, Black & Decker, Burger King, X-ACTO Brands, Elmer’s Glue, Ball Mason Jars, FloraCraft Products, Better Homes & Gardens and many more manufacturers with national product lines. The total number of original project designs CMC created was over 26,000!

     Cindy and CMC have received numerous honors: Finalist in the first National Designer of the Year Competition; Winner of the Designer with Heart Award; three consecutive annual Best Booth awards at the International Collectible Shows; and National Best New Product Innovations and Award of Excellence for four corporations. Cindy served on the board of the national designers’ organization for three years. For nine years, she served on the national Craft and Hobby Assn. Board working with the CEOs/Presidents of the Michaels and Jo-Ann Stores chains. She chaired numerous CHA committees and holds the highest-ranking certification in the CHA and SCD industry organizations. In 2004, CrafTrends Magazine recognized Cindy as one of the most influential people in the 32 billion dollar industry. However, the most meaningful award was presented to her in 2010 for her work with the national association and consumer craft industry, CHA’s highest honor, the Meritorious Award of Honor. In seventy years, fewer than thirty individuals have received this international award.

     She passed away on Saturday, April 4, 2020.

     Cindy appreciated spending time with her family (especially her grandchildren) and enjoyed the business that she, Lee and the CMC team built. Loved ones include: Spouse, Lee Harry; daughters and families, Bobbi, Chad, Avery, Reece, Landry and Cove Laipple, and Carin, Jeremy, Jordyn and husband Nate Winter, Rylee, Carter and Harper Griffith; sister, Sandy Groom-Meeks; nephews, Josh Meeks and Justin Meeks and families; life-long friend, Kristie Pope; close industry friends, wonderful CMC colleagues, and loyal former students.

     Those greeting her on the other side are: Her grandparents; parents; a still-born brother, Robert Wade; in-laws, Robert Neil Harry and Lila Mae Schiefen Harry; two unborn grandchildren; and good friends, Wendee, Peg, and Jayne.

Cindy requested that anyone wanting to celebrate, please get together with their own families, do something memorable, and laugh! (She said that she’d be there, too…so watch for signs!)

The family prefers memorials be directed to the Brandon Valley Special Olympics in care of Lee Harry 2368 460th Street Ireton, Iowa 51027. Thanks.





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Will miss her warm, down to earth personality and sense of humor. She had the ability to get along with pretty much everyone!

I will always remember taking her to Monticello, VA (Jefferson's home) while we worked on the Bright Ideas line at Reynolds/Alcoa. The trip there was a treat for us taking a break from the work.

She suggested I would be a great tour guide when I retired which is pretty much what I have been doing. She also mentioned that trip in a recent email a few months ago.

Please extend my sincere condolences to Lee. Should he want a person to talk with that has been thru this before, I would call him having been in this situation with my first wife Edie, whom Cindy met and enjoyed.

Blessings to all of your families at a time like this and the years ahead! Be safe and careful too.

Warmest regards, Bill Shugarts

Bill Shugarts Apr 8 2020 12:00 AM

To Cindy's family - hopefully these words will help you find comfort - "Don't cry because it's over, smile because it happened!" Dr. Seuss

I had the pleasure of knowing Cindy for many years and quickly realized that she had a huge heart and a love of living and in her words taking life in gulps! She knew how to work hard but more importantly how to have fun with her family and friends.

May you enter heaven ready for new experiences that God has called you for.

Thanks for being my friend Cindy Groom-Harry.

Dana & Debbie Conover Apr 7 2020 12:00 AM

Mrs. Harry was the best, hands-down. She was not only an amazing teacher, but a wonderful mentor, friend, coach, listener, encourager, and smile-maker. She was creative beyond anyone's wildest dreams. She ADORED her family and made such wonderful Christmas letters about everyone. Her teaching methods were memorable, challenging, and made us all feel like real artists, even if it was just in our own eyes! I can't imagine your grief, but may you all find peace in knowing she's definitely in God's hands, in Heaven with those who have gone before. I can only imagine the wonderful reunion they are all enjoying. Peace be with you all during these difficult times.

Peggy Apr 7 2020 12:00 AM

I have many fond memories of Cindy and her family. From doing crafts in the basement to riding bike or jumping on the trampoline with Bobbi and Carin! My heartfelt sympathies to all. May you rest in God's comfort during this difficult time.

Scott Vollink Apr 7 2020 12:00 AM

She always found the good in everyone. She had a sense of discernment and could pick up on the emotional pain that others were struggling with. She was a protector to those who were verbally beaten down with harsh calloused words. Her smile was an expression that uplifted many while hiding her own pain. She impacted my life in many ways in high school. We connected on so many levels. She saw something in me that others didn't. She wrote me a note in high school that I have cherished through all these years and in so many ways impacted me to become the person I am today. I will forever be blessed by the imprint she left on my heart. A very dear person!

J Bedard Apr 7 2020 12:00 AM

WS Class of 79. Ms Harry always had a smile and upbeat attitude, I always looked forward the her class. She was one of my favorite teachers.

Cory Apr 7 2020 12:00 AM

deepest sympathy tp the harry family in the loss of a wife, mother and grandmother, also a sister and nephews. may god wrap his arms around you in this difficult time. prayers

Audrey Apr 7 2020 12:00 AM

Mrs. Groom-Harry was my art teacher for four years at West Sioux. 1978-1982 I loved her! She taught me so many different mediums to create spectacular pieces. At that time she was just starting her designing and painting of wooden things to be put in the lawn or up on houses I think. I was in such awe of her talent. Sadden to hear this! Prayers of strength goes to the family!
Janice Johnson Ryan

Janice Johnson Ryan Apr 6 2020 12:00 AM

I am honored and blessed to have known Cindy as a classmate at West Sioux - Class of '70"!!!!!!!! She was truly a blessing in my life and I will never forget the image of her gentle and bright face. She was a remarkable friend with a tremendous and awesome personality and always very cheerful, friendly, kind, humble and had a refreshing and cheery sense of humor. May God give her eternal rest and the family the strength to bear the great pain. May her beautiful soul be at peace with our Heavenly Father.

Linda Schiefen Hicks Apr 6 2020 12:00 AM

God bless you, Cindy. My sister, Peggy, was your dear friend in high school. She went before you in 1973. Give each other a big hug from all of us.

Nancy Barker Apr 6 2020 12:00 AM

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