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HAWKINS – Sindi (Satinder) Kaur

September 15, 1958 – September 21, 2010

Sindi Satinder Kaur Ahluwalia Hawkins passed peacefully with her loving family by her side on Tuesday, September 21, 2010 in Calgary Alberta.

Sindi was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia in January 2004. She was a courageous and determined warrior through her six and a half year battle, undergoing two stem cell transplants from her sister Seema. She selflessly and tirelessly dedicated her life to helping others, as a nurse, an MLA and an advocate to raise awareness for cancer and the importance of blood and stem cell donations particularly among ethnic communities.

Sindi was born on September 15, 1958 in New Delhi, India to Manohar Singh and Sharanjeet Kaur Ahluwalia. She immigrated with her family to Canada in 1963 and grew up on the “prairies” in Sturgis, SK and spent many years living in Saskatoon and Calgary before finally settling in her beloved Kelowna in the late 1980’s. Before being elected to provincial office in British Columbia Sindi was a registered nurse in general duty, intensive care, management, education and consulting. She also had a post-graduate certificate in neuroscience nursing from the Montreal Neurological Hospital. She was recognized as one of the first nurses in Canada to be certified in neuroscience nursing by the Canadian Nurses Association. She then earned a law degree from the University of Calgary and set up her own company as a lawyer with an interest in medical-legal issues.

Sindi was first elected to the British Columbia legislature in 1996 and was re-elected in 2001 and 2005. She served as the MLA for Okanagan-West and Kelowna-Mission from 1996 to 2009. After first being elected in 1996 she started the annual Sindi Hawkins and Friends Charity Golf Classic for Cancer Care, raising hundreds of thousands of dollars for the local cancer agency. During her tenure she served as Deputy Speaker, Minister of State for Intergovernmental Relations and Minister of Health Planning. As Minister of Health Planning, she was responsible for a long-term strategy to train more doctors and nurses in British Columbia. As a result of this planning, BC added medical school campuses at the University of Northern British Columbia in Prince George, the University of Victoria and at UBC Okanagan in Kelowna. Through her efforts she was able to expand the number of nurses being trained around the province. On the day of her passing, Premier Gordon Campbell announced that the BC Southern Interior Cancer Centre will be named the Sindi Ahluwalia Hawkins Cancer Center as a lasting legacy of her kindness, her passion for helping others and her generosity of spirit.

Since her own leukemia diagnosis in 2004, Sindi was a tireless supporter of the cancer cause. As co-chair of the BC Cancer Foundation’s Tour of Courage in 2007 and with a new endowment fund, she helped raise millions of dollars for the BC Cancer Foundation.

Sindi is survived by her parents Manohar Singh and Sharanjeet Ahluwalia of Calgary; her sister Rupie (Dr. Ashok) Sachdeva and their children Rajeev of Saskatoon, SK, Nikki of Philadelphia, U.S.A. and Sonny of Calgary, AB; sister Moni (Allan) Snell and sons, Michael, of Kelowna, BC, Robert of Regina, SK; sister Seema Ahluwalia (Carl Boneshirt) and son Mahto of Vancouver, BC; sister Pamela (Scott) Anderson and their children, Amber, Justin and Joshua of Regina, SK; and beloved brother Lakhvinder (Lucky) Ahluwalia of Kelowna, BC; as well as many relatives and friends around the world.

A memorial service will be held at the Radisson Hotel (2120 – 16 Avenue N.E.) on Sunday, September 26, 2010 at 1:00 p.m. At 4:00 p.m. prayers will commence at the Gurdwara Guru Nanak Sikh Centre on 81st Street & 7th Ave (Old Banff Coach Road) SW, Calgary followed by Guru ka Langar. As well, at a later date a memorial service will be held in Kelowna, BC. You may forward condolences through If friends so desire, the family would appreciate donations in Sindi’s memory to the Sindi Hawkins & Friends Education and Endowment Fund care of the BC Cancer Foundation in the Southern Interior or donations of blood or stem cells through Canadian Blood Services to “save a life” in order to continue Sindi’s legacy to help others fight and beat cancer.

In living memory of Hon. Satinder Ahluwalia a tree will be planted at Big Hill Springs Park, Cochrane by McINNIS & HOLLOWAY FUNERAL HOMES, Crowfoot Chapel, 82 CROWFOOT CIRCLE N.W. Telephone: (403) 241-0044.

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Condolence Messages

  1. We are all better people for having known Sindi. Her compassion for others, her commitment to her family, friends and community and selfless giving of her time and energy are but a few of the legacies she has left.

    As her family, thank you for sharing her with us and know that she was loved by many who also care deeply about you and what you are going through.

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  2. I only met Sindi once, and that was on closing day of the Vancouver Olympics. We were standing in line waiting to get into the Hotel Vancouver lobby lounge to see the Canada-USA game. She invited me to join her party, even though I was supporting the US….:-)

    During the evening, I once unintentionally put my foot in my mouth in talking to another person. But Sindi was understanding, realizing as I do, that most people don’t intend to be rude.

    She invited me to the BC pavilion party at the BC Museum in Robson Square that night, along with Ben Stewart, Mindy and other friends. It became a very memorable and late evening, and Sindi had more energy than the rest of us.

    I knew she was not well when she did not respond to a late e-mail, since she had responded to previous e-mails.

    Sindi’s family, as well as Canada, has lost a special person, who I will never forget even though I only spent a few hours with her.

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  3. Barbara Carroll and Dwight Carroll :

    Our heart is sad as we say good-bye to our dear Sindi. You have served us well and you will be forever in our hearts. Bless your family as they grieve your loss. Sindi gave her all and we will benefit for years to come.

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  4. …to the Ahluwalia Family…Cheryl and I are so sad!! We will miss her!! I was so grateful to see her at her golf tournament…even though the doctors asked her not to have any contact with people, she allowed me to give her a real big hug!! I will never forget that!! She always had a special place in my heart!! I am so proud to call her my friend…she did ask me to do a special painting for you(Mom and Dad), and when I get the chance I will bring it to you…

    …bye Sindi…I love you!! Alexoxox

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  5. Sindi touched many lives. We will all miss her. I will miss her.
    Doug Rae

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  6. A note of thanks from Lisa and Brett – for Sindi introducing us just a few short months ago … we are both graduates of cancer treatment programs – and will proudly carry on Sindi’s work to deal with this terrible disease ….

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  7. Binu (Manpreet.Singh.Jarry) Udaipur India :

    Our heart is sad as we say good bye to our dear sister Dumba didi(Sindi). A light has dimmed but her spirit will live in all of us who loved her the most she will be forever in our hearts.Our family expresses heart felt condolence on this occasion. We do pray to God Almighty for the repose of departed soul that it may rest in peace in eternal bliss. We do realize that no one earth can take place of her. She was someone very great.We also pray for respected Daddy,Mummy and whole family that the good lord may give strength enough to bear this loss and live life ahead the way she expected because that is the only way a genuine tribute could be paid to that great soul. With prayerful regards, Jarry family Udaipur India

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  8. I just moved from Kelowna to Calgary and I knew Sindi did so many great things for all man kind. She was a blessing to have in our lives. God needed another Angel there to help him. Each one of us were blessed by Sindi and all she stood for..We will miss her very much.

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  9. Dear Mr. and Mrs. Ahluwalia, Rupie, Moni, Pam, Lucky and Seema and extended family:

    We love Sindi very much and will always have her in our thoughts remembering her spirited energy, her quick witted humor, her laugh and the legacy she has left behind..We are very lucky to have our memories of the many good times that we had with her..

    We send you all many hugs and love during this very difficult time..

    May peace be with you Sindi and your family.

    Lots of love, Cindy, Brianna and Jamie

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  10. My sincere condolences on the passing of your loved one. I never met Sindi but read of her story in the Times Colonist when first diagnosed. I thank her for all she has contributed to making our province a better place to live. Take care. Janet from Victoria, B.C.

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  11. Our hearts reach out to all of Sindi’s family at this time. Sindi was a special person, a devoted member of the legislature and always loyal and true to her beliefs. She accomplished so much. May you be given great strength in knowing that Sindi is free now from pain and stress and in a far better world.

    With our sincere sympathy,

    Grace & Ray McCarthy

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  12. Sujata Randhawa :

    Very sad to hear about Sindi’s passing away. She was a very brave and loving person. She will be missed a lot, may God give the family strength to bear this loss. In lieu of flowers I will be sending a donation to B.C. Cancer Foundation Sindi Hawkins&Friends Education and Endowment Fund. Regards Sujata

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  13. W J Fred Froese :

    Sindi has set an example for all of us.

    And she will never be forgotten because she touched so many people — with her kind caring helpful loving attitude
    — and her great talent.

    Our world is a better place because she was here.

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  14. Mr Jivaraj Veljibhai Joshi :

    May God grant her soul with heavenly peace
    & courage to her family to bear the great loss….Aum Shantihi…Shantihi…Shantihi.

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  15. tho i lived in kelowna i did not personnally know her until her columne about her cancer battle becamepublic.
    i asked the ladies cancer team bust n loose about her.
    such courage and love seemed to goto her
    im sory she lost her battle but she did put up on heck of a fight

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