CHARLESTON, SC, U.S.A.
LIBRARIAN/MANAGER, CHARLESTON LIBRARY SYSTEM
06/17/2015, CHARLESTON, SC
Cynthia Graham Hurd was born on June 21, 1960. She was the daughter of Melvin and Henrietta Johnson Graham, both who predeceased her. She is survived by her husband, Arthur Stephen Hurd, many family members and friends.
Cynthia Graham Hurd was everywhere – always working, always helping, always looking out for others. She moved through life with such understated grace and poise, guiding and nurturing everyone she encountered.
Mrs. Hurd, a Charleston native began her life of service to others in the happiest of places: an ice cream parlor. The perfect job for someone who always shared a smile and dispensed joy. Mrs. Hurd’s brother, Malcolm Graham, recalled that his sister always seemed to have her nose buried in a book. “She was always a book nerd, always a very smart young lady, and she loved reading from a very young age.”
After attending James Simons Elementary School and the High School of Charleston, Mrs. Hurd moved to Atlanta to attend Clark College (now Clark- Atlanta University), where she earned a bachelor’s degree in mathematics in 1982.
By 1984 she had started her career with the Charleston County Public Library system, a remarkable tenure of service that would continue for the next 31 years. Along the way, she earned a master’s of library science from the University of South Carolina in 1989 before being named branch manager of the library’s John L. Dart Branch in 1990. Mrs. Hurd became a mainstay in that library and in the surrounding community over the next twenty years.
Mrs. Hurd worked to educate generations of Charleston’s children and youth, helping them grow intellectually – from story time to receiving their first library cards, from their first high school research papers through college and job applications. She knew she’d made a lasting impact when, years later, those she helped brought their own children back to the library.
The Charleston County Council unanimously voted to rename the St. Andrews Regional Library, The Cynthia Graham Hurd St. Andrews Regional Library. Cynthia Hurd worked in the city’s library system from 1990 to 2011, before being given the managerial title at the St. Andrews Regional Library. Her husband Arthur called the commemorative title fitting for the woman who dedicated her life to books and helping others.
Malcolm Graham, Cynthia Graham Hurd’s brother reflected about his sister:
“Having her in church that night at Bible study, taught me about the Lord,” he said. “If we had to lose our sister, losing her in church was the right place. … She was in church that night, she was in the company of God. She was trying to help somebody.
“She was not a victim,” he continued. “She was a Christian. She was a soldier. She was warrior. She was with her maker when she took her last breath. God bless our sister and this community.”