January 20, 2021
It is with profound sadness that we announce the passing of Cynthia Ann Stanley on January 20, 2021. She died peacefully at home after an eight year courageous battle with multiple myeloma.
Cindy is survived by Donn, her loving partner of 49 years, her daughters Jennifer Jones (Brad) and Jessica Ganton-Stanley, her dear grandchildren Easton, Anja, Stella and Remy, her father John Rowse, brother and sister, Brian Rowse (Cathy) and Lynn Simmonds (Bryan). She is predeceased by her mother Claire Rowse, her son-in-law Ryan Ganton-Stanley and her parents-in-law Ned and Doris Stanley.
Cindy was born and raised in New Westminster, BC. She excelled at school and graduated as the president of New Westminster Secondary student council and even lunched with Queen Elizabeth. She graduated with a Bachelor of Education at UBC and followed her passion of teaching in Richmond, Prince George and Nanaimo. She was respected and loved as an educator. She went on to achieve a Masters of Education from James Cook University in Australia and then worked as a principal in numerous schools in Nanaimo.
Cindy had a passion for life. She loved the outdoors, especially the ocean. She was an avid kayaker who explored the east and west coast of Vancouver Island extensively. She took numerous kayaking trips to Mexico with her girlfriends.
Cindy hiked the Coastal Mountains, the West Coast Trail when it was still wild and spent many summers hiking with Donn and her daughters at Cape Scott. Cindy loved sailing especially that moment when you shut the engine off and it’s quiet and peaceful. She rowed her rowboat around many a harbour up and down the coast and of course in her bay. She’d say, “I row, Donn sits, we talk”. That’s who she was, always in control.
After her diagnosis, Cindy wrestled life to the ground. She and Donn travelled the world. Cindy followed the whales and her heart. She kayaked with bubble feeding humpbacks in Alaska. She hiked up to the sun gates at Machu Picchu to place a tile for Nanny.
Cindy hauled bananas in the jungles of Cambodia for an elephant rescue centre. She climbed down into the Cu Chi Tunnels in Vietnam to experience the bravery of others. She went to the Oracle of Delphi in Greece looking for guidance. Cindy said of her eight years of chemotherapy, that she can sit in her chair at home feeling crappy or she can sit in a safari Jeep in Botswana feeling crappy. She chose Botswana. How can we not honour such an indomitable spirit.
Cindy will be so sorely missed by many, but her spirit lives on in her daughters and grandchildren and in all the people she impacted in her life. Due to Covid 19, no service will be held.
The family hopes to have a small remembrance later when it is safe to do so. However, we ask her friends to plan your own activity to remember and celebrate her life and spirit. Go for a paddle or row, watch a sunset, hike a trail you love, travel somewhere you’ve always wanted to experience and when you do so, think of our dear Cindy. In lieu of flowers, we encourage you to make a donation to Haven House Nanaimo or to Multiple Myeloma Canada.
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