Cyndy Sturdy

April 11th, 2021

Cyndy Sturdy b: Cynthia Rae Arnt (Oct 3, 1955 - April 11, 2021) Camrose, AB

We are saddened by the loss of a beautiful person, a loving wife, a caring friend, cousin, Auntie and sister.  Cyndy was one who delighted in living life a little differently, with streaks of colour through her hair, usually with a tasteful, showy necklace around her neck.

Cyndy was born to Elizabeth Clark (nee: Tagtemeyer) in Camrose, Alberta. When Cyndy was 9, her mother re-married a caring step-father, Buck Clark, and they moved to “The Farm” north of Erskine, Alberta. Two sibling sisters, Dana Clark (Danny) of Calgary, and Tracy Clark-Bensmiller were born, eventually expanding into a large Alberta Family, including, Auntie Tag, Jamie Denhoff and Kelsey Bensmiller, two of Cyndy’s nieces. Cyndy loved her little sisters, and delighted in learning new skills on the farm, including caring for animals, which she did all her life. (Her beloved dog, Archie, will be moving to Salmon Arm, in care of Cousin and dear friend, Joan Sturdy.) Cyndy will be missed by her sisters-in-law, Helen, Caroline, and Kathy, and children Talisen, and Sean, a nephew much loved.

Cyndy left the farm when she was about 15years old, and after a brief time in Calgary and a bad car accident, found herself on the West Coast. She met husband Mike while they were both working for the same company. She in Graphics, he in Photography. Michael later worked for CBC, and together they renovated a couple of houses in Vancouver and were able to move to Armstrong to start a Ginseng Farm.

Meanwhile, Cyndy followed her passion, getting the necessary education and certificates to teach her Skills for Life Program, which ran for 4-5 years in Vernon. She worked on the Board of Directors of the Women’s Transition House. She was a Board member of the Independent Living Resource Centre, leading to her huge involvement with the disabled puppets “Kids on the Block” and the teenagers she trained to work with them, doing performances at schools. Cyndy was an advocate for the less-fortunate, be it disability related, or childhood trauma, alcoholism, or ending poverty. She wrote numerous articles and letters and assisted with many “Take Back the Night“ marches, to end violence against women. In recognition, Cyndy Received the Volunteer Service award from Red Cross and the Certificate of Merit.

Cyndy and Mike loved to travel. They often spoke of fun times in Cuba and Mexico ... Mike with his Camera, and Cyndy with her various interests. She loved to cruise and loved meeting new people. She kept an entertaining diary of adventures with her Mother on a Mexican cruise.

After that, she took a course in plant care and flower arranging, a great outlet for her creativity. She later drove the backroads of the Spallumcheen area near Armstrong where Mike and she live, and put together 5 years of Calendars, called "Broke Down Barns of the North Okanagan". (They will be offered to the Historical Society of Armstrong).  Proceeds from the calendars went to a lunch program in an Armstrong School. Most recently, Cyndy Worked for the Volunteer Drivers Program out of Armstrong, assisting people getting to appointments.  

For many years, Cyndy went to the Ukulele and Hawaiian dance School on Maui. She was a lively participant in the audience. She was fun. She and her friend Norianne used to dressup for the horse or whatever theme of the IPE and sold coffee and muffins to paraders outside the Brown Derby. She was an avid fan of Coronation Street and could discuss plotlines with the best of them. Cyndy really looked forward to going to “The River” every year to reunion with her Alberta Family.

Cyndy’s ashes are laid to rest at her home in Armstrong and at the farm in Stettler, AB. There will only be small private recognitions of her passing, for now.  Anyone wishing to write a condolence note may do so at https://www.myalternatives.ca/armstrong/obituaries

One friend commented: “She had overcome so many personal struggles and setbacks in her life, its hard to believe she finally met that one (last Stroke) that proved fatal. I said to her once, that if I ever met her when she wasn’t sporting a sling, eye patch, cast or cane I wouldn’t recognize her!” Many people benefitted from Cyndy's caring nature. She would follow up when she knew people were ill and take flowers or a card or … cookies. She was very sensitive, and never ever wanted to hurt anyone. She wanted to be seen, to organize, and to help.

In lieu of flowers, a donation made to your local SPCA or the Christmas Toy Ride would be very appropriate as a way of honouring our dear departed Cyndy-Loo. Never forgotten.

 

Messages:

She educated so many in disability awareness and humanity with endless patience, class and such joy. When Roxanne needed to go to the coast for a 3 week seizure watch, she pile us all into her little car.. Zoomed us down to UBC, then came back 3 weeks later to pick us up. Not a word of complaint, just helping out a friend. She certainly made her gift of LIFE time count. I am so sorry to her family for your very real loss. RIP

I met Cyndy over 40 years ago in G.F. Strong rehab centre and although we went our separate ways after, we reconnected in Armstrong a few years later and became very close friends, meeting every week for lunch or breakfast. She was the kindest most caring person I have ever known, and we were looking forward to warmer weather so we could resume our outdoors visits. I can't believe I will never see her again, although I do have constant reminders of her in my house with all the things she brought back from her travels. You will be missed so much.

I miss my cousin Cyndy so much. We had lunch about once a month, and enjoyed some special concerts and other occasions. We were confidantes. I didn't know about the incident until 3 days after, it happened but on my oath, I felt her so strongly on Friday at 3:30 pm. I didn't know what had happened...but I believe her spirit visited me, gave me chills and a big hit to the heart. I actually dropped what I was doing. Rest in Peace dear departed friend.

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