Cynthia McLaughlin Heard

Cynthia McLaughlin Heard, age 59 of Blanket, passed away on December 26th, 2020, after a hard-fought battle with a serious illness. A visitation will be held on Wednesday December 30th, 2020 from 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM at Heartland Funeral Home in Early, Texas. Services will be held on Thursday December 31st, 2020 at Heartland Funeral Home in Early, Texas at 10:00 AM. Following the chapel service, there will be a graveside service at Blanket Cemetery in Blanket, Texas.

Cynthia was born on November 26th, 1961 to Beryl and Alice McLaughlin in Brownwood, Texas. Cynthia was the second oldest of four children. Cynthia graduated from Blanket High School in 1980. Cynthia’s first marriage was to Willie Isom from 1978 to 1985. Together they welcomed two beautiful children, Bradley Craig Isom in 1979 and Sarah Isom Willis in 1984. In November of 1988, Cynthia married the love of her life, James Heard. Together they welcomed two more children, J.W. Heard in 1994 and Hope Heard Barron in 1999.

Cynthia found her calling later in life. After several years in the medical profession, Cynthia completely changed her career path and decided that she wanted to go into education. In her own words, “I decided I wanted to impact the younger generation.” Cynthia graduated from Howard Payne University in 1998. After graduating from HPU, Cynthia went on to teach at Blanket ISD for 22 years. In her time at Blanket, she taught Biology, English, and Theater Arts. She also was the One Act Play Director, UIL Coordinator, and Speech and Debate Coach. Cynthia would often speak fondly of the different students who passed through her classroom. Cynthia was a born-educator and did exactly what she set out to do, impacting each and every one of the students who sat in her classroom over those twenty-two years.

Cynthia enjoyed spending time with her nephews Adam, Emmanuel, and Abel McLaughlin. She loved to travel with her kids and grandkids. Some of her favorite places to visit were Colorado and New York City. She always encouraged her students to travel while they were young. To encourage this pursuit of travel, Cynthia sponsored the Blanket Student Travel Group, traveling to several different places with her students including Washington D.C., New York City, the Bahamas, and Florida.

Cynthia loved being a mom and maw more than anything. Cynthia devoted herself to her special need’s son, J.W. He was her pride and joy. When J.W. was born, Cynthia’s purpose changed. She became an advocate for her son and worked to make sure that her son received the very best of everything. Cynthia was so much more than a mom. She was an accountant, a secretary, a best friend, a travel partner, a supporter, and the list goes on.

Cynthia is survived by her husband, James Heard of Blanket, Texas. Her children, Bradley Isom (Courtney Traficanto), Sarah Isom Willis, J.W. Heard, and Hope Barron (Croston Barron). Her siblings, Gayla McLaughlin (Joe Don Mackey) and Phillip McLaughlin (Sue McLauglin). Her grandchildren, Alieya Isom, Tanner Isom (Lillian Sharp), MaKenzie Willis, Mason Isom, Aubrie Willis, Alyssa Larsen, Nolan Meador, and Emma Isom. She is also survived by her mother-in-law Mary Jo Heard of Crane, Texas, brother-in-law Sam Heard of Possum Kingdom Lake, sister-in-law Michelle Kea (Danny Kea) of Crane, Texas, sister-in-law Tammi Shanafelt (Kirby Shanafelt) of Kemper, Wyoming, and sister-in-law Vicki McLaughlin of Odessa, Texas. Cynthia is also survived by various aunts, uncles, cousins, nieces, and nephews.

Cynthia is preceded in death by her parents, Beryl and Alice McLaughlin. Her siblings, Nathan McLaughlin and an infant sibling, Amy Marie McLaughlin. Her infant grandchild, Baby Willis. She is also preceded in death by various aunts, uncles, and cousins.

Condolences, memories and tributes can be made to the family at

Published on December 28, 2020