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Saturday, August 5, 2023
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Cynthia Villanueva Langstaff, 74, of Austin, MN, passed away on Tuesday, July 25, 2023, at Mayo Clinic Hospital Rochester, Saint Marys Campus, after a long battle with lung disease, surrounded by the love of her children. Born in Beeville, TX, to Alicia Lopez and Felix Villanueva on March 3, 1949. She was the second to the youngest surviving child, of 9 siblings. She graduated from A.C. Jones High School in 1968 and married Dale Larson in 1970. They had three children, Jonathan Eric Larson in 1973, Christopher Patrick Larson in 1974, and Joi Anjanette Larson in 1979. Cynthia and Dale divorced in 1984. In December 1990, Cynthia was remarried to Paul Langstaff, and was blessed with 3 children through marriage, Mark Langstaff, Michael Langstaff, and Matthew Langstaff. Cynthia furthered her education, attending the nursing and cosmetology programs at Riverland, where she ultimately found the path to her passion in helping others. She helped develop the ESL program at Riverland Community College and became one of their first language instructors. Her compassion, empathy, and sense of humor brought light and hope to so many in the office and in the Hispanic community. In Austin, Cynthia worked as an interpreter for the Department of Health and Human Services until her retirement. She often stated that it was the most enjoyable time of her life, touching the lives of everyone around her. Cynthia enjoyed gardening, crafts, and spending time with her children and her pets. She loved to spend hours reminiscing with her beloved sisters and brother and would visit them as often as possible. The most courageous thing she did was to follow her heart unapologetically. In her last few years, she wanted to be surrounded by her children, and called on them to move back home. For the last 2 years of her life, her son, Christopher was her 24-hour caretaker, providing her not only with daily care but also with spiritual and emotional guidance as she prepared for the end of her life. Her daughter, Joi, and eldest son, Jon provided additional support in most areas of her life. Her smile, laughter, and inner light will be missed by so many.
Cynthia is survived by her husband, Paul Langstaff; her children, Jonathon Eric, Christopher Patrick and Joi Anjanette Larson, Matthew Langstaff; many Langstaff grandchildren; sisters, Artemisa V. (Jesse) Maldonado, Alicia Villanueva, Mary Lamar V. (Larry) Heald, Maria Dalia V. (Abraham) Perez, Lucila V. (Antonio) Villarreal, and Diana V. (Rod) Mathiason; and many beloved nieces and nephews. She is preceded in death by her parents, Felix and Alicia Villanueva; sisters, Juanita Villanueva and Armida Treaster; brother, Felix Jr. Villanueva; son, Mark Langstaff and his wife, Cassie Langstaff, and her son, Michael Langstaff.