Obituary: Cindy Lee ("Samantha" or "Tornado") Terhune

  • by BAR staff
  • Wednesday August 1, 2018
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July 14, 1956 - July 23, 2018

Cindy Lee ("Samantha" or "Tornado") Terhune passed away at her mother's home in Willmar, Minnesota, surrounded by family and friends.

Born in Redwood Falls, Minnesota, the daughter of Jimmy L. and Judith R. (St. John) Terhune, she was the eldest of four siblings. After graduating from Willmar High School in 1974, she studied Chinese history at the University of Minnesota. She lived in New York, Paris, Greece, Las Vegas, and - for 18 years - San Francisco, before returning to Minnesota.

Terhune led a very colorful life and was a positive force of nature, a free spirit. As a shaman, she performed weddings and healing ceremonies. As a lifelong student and teacher, she taught yoga for many years. Believing in the importance of living in beauty, she started a successful small business called Paint Goddess, earning a reputation as a highly skilled painter of trompe l'oeil murals and faux marble finishes. Among her other accomplishments she worked at many San Francisco nightclubs, at the San Francisco Public Library, and appears in Monika Treut's documentary "Gendernauts."

She is survived by her mother, a brother and two sisters, her adopted godson, Texas Starr, and a wide network of family and friends.