Cyndi passed away in the company of her family after a challenging fight with cancer. She is survived by her loving husband Michael, and her three incredible children – Patrick, Brian and Erin, as well as her mother Diane (Doug) and father Stew (JulieAnne) and her siblings, many cousins, nieces and nephews.

Cyndi was born in Vanderhoof (because Fort St. James did not have a hospital at the time!) and is the younger sister of Maria and older sister of Sean and Michael Coulter. After graduating from Fort St. James Secondary School, she attended BCIT where she earned a structural and architectural drafting certificate.

Cyndi enrolled in the Royal Canadian Sea Cadet Program as soon as she was permitted and quickly demonstrated the leadership, interpersonal, and citizenship skills that have served her and others so well. As a cadet, she was engaged in all aspects of the program and developed many strong friendships that continued throughout her life. She served in her local community and at the national summer training centre HMCS QUADRA reaching the rank of Chief Petty Officer First Class. It was at QUADRA that she met her husband Michael and, after marrying in 1992, they served together at RCSCC Captain Vancouver as well as HMCS QUADRA.

As Cyndi and Michael started a family, they moved to Victoria which has remained home ever since. With three incredible children, Cyndi was active within her school community and served on the board of St. Patrick’s Elementary School and later volunteered at St. Andrew’s Regional High School. She was a very talented artist – it is rumoured that her husband once, at great peril to himself, had to ‘steal’ one of her artworks away from his mother-in-law’s house so he could proudly display it at their home (where it remains to this day!).

Cyndi enrolled in the Royal Canadian Navy as a CIC officer in 1991 and continued in that service until her death. She had the privilege of commanding three different Sea Cadet Corps (RCSCC Admiral Budge, RCSCC Admiral Waller, and RCSCC Beacon Hill) where she was an inspiration to all who had the opportunity to serve with her. She was a passionate and effective mentor, coach, instructor and leader. She ensured that each cadet and officer was empowered to achieve success in a respectful, positive, and safe environment. Frequently, former cadets would approach her years after they had left the cadet program to thank her for her personal commitment to their development and to share their successes. In addition to her work at the cadet corps, Cyndi was employed full time at the Regional Cadet Support Unit (Pacific) in various roles directly supporting the Canadian Cadet Organization. The depth and breadth of her skills allowed her to succeed as an instructor at the officer training school, the administration officer for the Army Cadet program in BC, the movements/transportation officer for BC, and in her last posting as the Sea Training (Plans) officer. As Sea Training, she was truly there to help and she actively empowered sea cadet corps to deliver dynamic and effective training in support of the aims of the cadet organization. (She sometimes described herself as the ‘moneybags’ and her goal was to spend every possible dollar in support of program delivery at each cadet corps and through RCN and international training deployments!) Cyndi was a tireless and passionate advocate of the cadet program who spent countless hours outside of work to ensure that each cadet and officer was challenged to meet their potential. In this respect, she was the consummate professional and a critical contributor to not only the cadet community but the wider Canadian community.

The cornerstone of Cyndi’s life has always been her family. She treasures her children and is incredibly proud of them. They each carry with them the very best attributes of Cyndi – her passion, intellect, humour, and commitment to serve others. Cyndi’s legacy lives on through not only her children but also each person whom she has inspired, mentored and guided throughout her life.

A Celebration of Cyndi’s Life will be held at a date to be determined following a private family funeral service.

In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to the HMCS QUADRA Scholarship Fund (c/o Regional Cadet Support Unit (Pacific) in memory of Lt. (N) Cynthia Lawless, CD.

Condolences may be offered to the family below.

McCall Gardens



  • Gerald W. Pash
    December 29, 2018

    So very sad to hear about Cyndi’s passing and I regret not attending at the gun room. Cyndi’s legacy among the youth of the Royal Canadian Sea Cadets will live in the memory of so very many. My best wishes to you always.

  • Andy Muir
    December 12, 2018


    Truly shocked and saddened to hear about Cyndi. My condolences to you and your family.

  • Norman Marcy and Terry Simonson
    December 8, 2018

    Mike, we are both shocked and convey our deepest sympathy to you and your children and extended family. Though we only met Cindy on a few occasions, her charm and determination were readily apparent. Take care of yourself and your family as you embark on this new journey of grieving, healing and recovery. I know that your community will support you in this very difficult time.


  • Patrick and Kelly Montgomery
    December 7, 2018

    We’re deeply saddened by the sudden loss. Our thoughts are with you Mike, and the family. Cyndi touched many lives, and will never be forgotten.

  • Pamela Audley
    December 7, 2018

    Mike, Patrick, Erin and Brian,

    Your Mum was a gentle soul and vibrant spirit. I have so many amazing memories that I will keep close to my heart and cherish forever. At this difficult time please know that I am thinking of you and sending you strength and love.

  • Greg and Louise
    December 6, 2018

    Mike and family, we’re so very sorry to hear of your loss. You have our sincerest condolences.

  • Captain Casey Bramhoff 2573 RCACC
    December 6, 2018

    It came as such a shock to read that Lt(N) Lawless, Cyndi had passed away.
    I am at a loss for words.
    I offer my sincerest condolences to her family members, friends and her cadets who helped her through her time of need.
    Our thoughts are with you.

  • Kevin Ford
    December 6, 2018

    Mike, My heart felt condolences to you and your family. My thoughts and prayers for you all.

  • Erik James
    December 6, 2018

    Mike, I was devastated to hear of Cyndi’s passing. While the community and our youth have lost a fantastic person and mentor, it is you and your family that have lost the most. My thoughts are with you and your family through the difficult days ahead, and I have faith that her spirit will continue to live through you.

  • Steve Young
    December 5, 2018

    Mike and family,

    I am so sorry to hear about Cyndi’s passing. I have fond memories of the two of you meeting for coffee at the Starbucks and was always impressed by how close of a connection you shared as a couple. Know that I am thinking of you and the kids through this difficult time.

  • Alan Boden
    December 5, 2018

    Mike and Family;
    Shocked and saddened to here of your loss. It’s a tragedy losing someone in the prime of her life.
    My condolences and regards to you all for this terrible loss in your family.

  • Hugues Létourneau
    December 4, 2018

    Mike, I’m very sorry to hear of your loss. You are in my thoughts.

  • Caroline Muehlberger
    December 4, 2018

    Mike and Family,

    I was so sorry to hear about the passing of Cyndi. My deepest condolences to you and your family. My thoughts are with you all during this difficult time.

  • Brandon Bourne
    December 4, 2018

    Sincerest condolences to Mike and Family; her legacy will be remembered by many.

    Sorry for your loss.

  • David Nelson
    December 3, 2018

    Mike and Family, I was shocked and extremely saddened to hear of Cyndi’s passing. I will always remember Cyndi for her determination and will to get things accomplished, and that laugh she always had. My deepest condolences to you and your family.

  • Mark Cranwell
    December 3, 2018

    Mike, I am so sorry to hear about your loss. My thoughts are with you and your family at this tough time.

  • Stephanie McRae
    December 3, 2018

    So sorry for your loss. My deepest condolences to the family, prayers and thoughts are with you all.

  • Doug Young
    December 3, 2018

    My heartfelt condolences to you and your family. Please know we are thinking about you and will keep you in our prayers.

  • Wes and Christine Golden
    December 3, 2018

    Mike and Family,

    Christine and I send you our deepest condolences on Cyndi’s passing. That same passion for life that drove her devotion to her cadets and to her family no doubt gave her the strength and tenacity in her battle against cancer. No words can ease the pain of your loss, but during these difficult times, we hope that you will find a measure of peace and solace in the countless memories and good times that you shared as a family.

  • Claire Morgan
    December 2, 2018

    Mike and family, sending thoughts and prayers to you at this difficult time. I didn’t have the pleasure of meeting Cyndi but knowing Mike as a fellow cyclist and runner, I’m sure she was a very kind, patient and supportive partner (with the requisite loving tolerance for the obsessive athlete’s lifestyle). Hugs to you, Mike, and wishing you and your family strength going forward. Please continue coming out and losing yourself in the group rides. You’re always a pleasant and entertaining addition to the pack.

  • Marc Paquin
    December 1, 2018

    I was Cox’n of HMCS DONNACONA and liaised often with the CO of RCSCC Victory and had the privilege of working as a Civilian Cadet Instructor and know the immeasurable impact a passionate Commanding Officer can have on their staff and charges. Her drive and legacy will live on in the hundreds of cadets and staff that have served with her.

    My deepest condolences to the family.

    PO1 (ret’d) Marc Paquin

  • Carla Escobar.
    December 1, 2018

    I’m so saddened and shocked to hear of Cindy’s passing. Such a beautiful person inside and out. It was a pleasure to have met, worked, and known Cindy. She was the kind of person one would always want to be like. A kind, generous, happy, and genuine individual who made all around her and the world a better place. My sincere condolences to the family. Please know that although Cindy may be gone, she will always be remembered by those who knew her. We shall meet again one day Cindy. ‘Til then rest easy sailor. You have made an immense difference in this world and in the lives of many young cadets.

  • Matt Savola
    December 1, 2018

    Cindi was one of the few positive influences in my teenager years in Sooke. I would like to think that part of my reason for joining the military was the positive experiences that she made possible for me to become a the person I am today.

  • Dolly Freigang
    December 1, 2018

    Deepest condolences Mike. My thoughts are with you and your children.


  • Andrew Attwell
    November 30, 2018

    My heartfelt condolences to you, your children and family for you loss.

  • Fiona Borland
    November 30, 2018

    So sorry for your loss. I wish I had the pleasure of meeting this incredible woman.

  • Veronica and Russ Walters
    November 30, 2018

    Mike, we are so sorry for your loss. Please accept our deepest condolences for you and your family.

  • Tara Martin and Family
    November 30, 2018

    We don’t have the right words to say how sorry we are to hear about Cyndi’s passing. We only spent a short time together but it was clear Cyndi was a kind, dedicated person who loved her family. We are thinking of you Mike, Patrick, Brian and Erin during this difficult time.
    From Tara, Tim, Ava & Declan

  • Betty Anne Loy
    November 30, 2018

    Very sorry for your loss Mike. When someone you love becomes a memory, the memory becomes a treasure. Cindy was a true treasure. Deepest condolences to you and your family.

  • Anita Ko and Ian Hatt
    November 30, 2018

    Mike, our deepest condolences to you,Patrick, Brian and Erin and extended family. I’m grateful to have to run into you and Cyndi this summer and to have an hour long visit with her. We caught up on a years of stuff and awed how the kids have grown up and all the things they were up to. Cyndi spoke very proudly of Patrick, Brian and Erin. I’m so sorry for your loss.

  • Tim Gijzen
    November 30, 2018

    So sorry for your loss. My thoughts are with you and family.

  • Sushil Saini
    November 30, 2018

    My deepest sympathy to all of Cyndi’s family and friends. We loved working with her here at the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award; her passion for youth empowerment was inspiring and her lovely strong caring personality shone through. Our hearts are heavy as we send love and support to her family.

  • Suzanne Andeson
    November 30, 2018

    Bob and I were deeply saddened to hear that Cyndi had passed away. We thought she was getting better and had no idea how ill she really was. I’ve known Cyndi since she was about 11. She grew up to be a lovely woman who had a big heart for family, friends, and pretty much anyone she met. My heart goes out to Mike and the kids for your loss. She loved you all so much. Our condolences to Diane and the siblings. You are all in my prayers.

  • Yvette Donohue nee Maisey
    November 29, 2018

    We lost touch over the years but I have great memories of playing in your home in Sardis. As we grew into our adult years we connected every now and then. I’m so sorry that you are gone early. I know how much you cared for others and that those that you’ve touched in life will always remember you as a loving caring person.

  • Barton Bourassa
    November 29, 2018

    I am so very saddened for you Michael and your children. Words fail me. Hold onto your family tightly for the strength they can give you and the comfort you can give each other.

  • Siobhan Liang
    November 29, 2018

    “Sailor put down your oars, your watch now stands relieved”

    Thoughts and prayers to the family.

    PO2 Rob Freeman and Siobhan Liang

  • Sebastien Laposnyik & Lucinda Liu
    November 29, 2018

    We are so sorry for your loss. Our thoughts are with you and the entire family during this very difficult time.

  • Gordon Scott
    November 29, 2018

    My condolences to you and your family. Cyndi had a passion for the cadet program and would always try to improve processes and make things better for the cadets. I will remember our great chats at work and coffee runs she did for the volunteer judges at first aid competitions! Her impact and kindness will not be soon forgotten. RIP, Cyndi.

  • André Gingras
    November 29, 2018

    It is with a heavy heart that I write this small note.
    I was saddened to hear of the terrible news of Cyndi’s passing. My family was lucky to have met Cyndi.
    We will be forever grateful for her leadership and inspiration to our children. She enabled them to achieve the highest possible potential during the RCSCC Beacon Hill training program.
    Most sincere condolences to Michael and the children.

  • Elizabeth van Akker
    November 29, 2018

    Dear family,
    So sorry for your loss.

  • Shekhar Gothi
    November 29, 2018

    Mike, I am saddened to hear about Cyndi. My sincerest condolences to you, your entire family and the Coulter family. I have fond memories of our times together in those early years out west when you first started dating Cyndi. I will treasure those memories. She was a real force of nature and I am so very sorry for your loss.

  • Rory and Peggy
    November 29, 2018

    Mike, Patrick, Erin, Brian and family, we are extremely saddened to hear of Cindi’s passing and you have our most sincere condolences.

  • Peggy Bradford
    November 29, 2018

    My deepest condolences to Mike, and family. My thoughts and prayers are with you at this difficult time.

  • Samantha Hoft
    November 28, 2018

    A lovely soul taken too early. So, so, sorry Mike. Wish we could wrap your heart in a warm blanket and protect it through this challenging time. You have a great many friends in the community who are thinking of you, and will stand by your side to pull you through. I will remember Cyndi for all the warmth and friendly chatter she brought to the LS runs and socials. May she rest in peace. With love, Sam and Dave

  • Pam Martin
    November 28, 2018

    So very sad to hear of your loss. All though we only met Cynthia a few times. Our love goes out to your entire family. Erin, Michael sends love especially to you.
    Michael & Pam Martin ♥️

  • Ramona Meikle
    November 28, 2018

    Sorry for your loss I had the pleasure of meeting Cynthia at Admiral Waller.

  • James M.W Anger
    November 28, 2018

    I am saddened to hear of the loss of such a Loving Wife and Mother. It is with my deepest regret I offer my sympathy to Micheal and their Children.

  • Stephanie MacVicar and family
    November 28, 2018

    Mike, Patrick, Brian and Erin,
    Our sincere condolences. We are so very sorry to hear of Cyndi’s passing.
    I will always remember her warm smile, kind heart and laugh. She will be missed.
    Our thoughts are with you.
    Stephanie, Todd, Brynn and Liam

  • Sue Nguyen
    November 28, 2018

    My most heartfelt condolences to Michael, Patrick, Brian and Erin. Cyndi was an amazing person. Always compassionate, witty and sincere. She had the ability to brighten my darkest day with her radiant smile. I am very honoured to have had the privilege of knowing her. She will be dearly missed but always in our heart.

  • Janice Meek
    November 28, 2018

    I am truly saddened by Cyndi’s passing. My condolences to you Mike and your family.

  • Bill Blake
    November 28, 2018

    What a wonderful tribute written here. I am so sorry for your loss.

  • Tracy Voorthuyzen
    November 27, 2018

    Deepest condolences to Mike and family. So terribly sorry for your loss, thoughts and prayers for you all.

  • Teresa Tuohy
    November 27, 2018

    I am so sorry for ur loss. I worked with Cyndi at RCSU she always had a smile on her face and a kind word no matter how busy she was.. I finished my contract with RCSU but one day I was travelling and ran into her in the airport in Vancouver and very spur of the moment had a coffee and a chat even though it had been a while since we had seen each other it was such a nice surprise to see her and I was left with a very warm feeling about our visit.. I am so very sad to hear of Cyndi’s passing. She will be very missed by so many. I was lucky to have met her.
    Teresa Tuohy.❤️

  • Mandart Chan
    November 27, 2018

    My condolences to Mike, Patrick, Brian, Erin and the whole family. Cyndi was a true mentor and friend in my life, as well as the lives of countless others. She is still a role model for me, always guiding me towards the right direction, always helping me to look at things from all directions.

  • Jenny & Walter
    November 27, 2018

    Wish we would have had a life time to share as you were such an amazing woman. Our thoughts and prayers go out to Mike and kids.You will truly be missed.
    Love always Jenny & Walter
    Xxxxxxxx ❤

  • Ashley Coulter
    November 27, 2018

    That was a truly beautiful tribute. My deepest condolences that I can’t be at her service. I would have liked very much to pay my respects in person. My dad will be there and the rest of my family will be there in spirit. May she rest well and may you find comfort in knowing that she will rest easy and will be no longer in pain.

  • John and Heidi
    November 27, 2018

    Our thoughts are with you to, Mike and kids.

  • Jean Ann Cyr
    November 27, 2018

    Our family is very sorry for your immense loss. Cyndi was a lovely, fun-loving woman and will be missed. Our condolences to your entire family.

  • Zenda Gardiner
    November 27, 2018

    My condolences to Mike, and the whole family. I was very saddened with the news that Cynthia had gone to God, I had felt sure she would conquer her cancer. Cynthia and I met in the 90’s firstly at HMCS Quadra, later during an ISCA exchange in South Korea, and again at Quadra for an ISCA Conference. I found her to be an outstanding lady, always confident, friendly, intuitive and caring. I have many happy memories of her, from rubbing sand into her hair before tackling the ‘tunnels’ to a relaxing drink at the end of a day., and those famous words ‘I will get you the first drink, then you get your own’ when entertaining at home.
    Mike, Patrick, Brian and Erin, you will have so many memories to keep close, and make you smile. Always remember she was special.
    Rest in Peace Cynthia.
    Zenda Gardiner. Western Australia.

  • Cameron Miller
    November 27, 2018

    Mike, I am so sorry to hear about your loss. My thoughts are with you. Cyndi was a great companion, amazingly supportive of her family and the Cadet program. Blessings to you, the children and family.

  • Linda Quilty
    November 27, 2018

    Our deepest condolences to Mike, their children and the entire family as well as those whose lives were touched by Cyndi through the tireless devotion and mentorship that she gave to various organizations including the cadet program. Our hearts go out to you at this difficult time.

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