Cynthia “Cindy” Ann Ingham

Date of Birth

October 20, 1957

Date of Death

August 12, 2023

It is with heavy hearts that so many of us are trying to understand the rapid decline and death of Cindy Ingham. She fought melanoma cancer head-on for over 2 years, but it was insidious and took her body quickly in the end. Cindy is missed by so many people who were touched by her and lucky enough to have her impact their lives.

Cindy was born in Montana to Irene and William Ingham. Her family moved to Goleta, California when her father took a job at Raytheon. Cindy was only 2 and was a Southern California girl from then on. She attended La Colina Jr. High School and graduated from Dos Pueblos High School. 

Cindy became a Candy Striper right out of high school in 1976. Always thinking of others first, she was a natural born nurturer. Her professional choice was clear to her, and she would later declare, “I wanted to be a nurse ever since I was a little girl.” And so it came to be that Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital would proudly honor her as a 46-year employee. Naturally, many friendships blossomed along Cindy’s nursing path. 

After volunteering, she became a Certified Nursing Assistant and soon moved on to taking care of outpatient surgical patients as an Operating Room Technician. Her dream was realized in 2001 when she graduated from Santa Barbara City College as a Registered Nurse. 

Although she considered herself “the worst test taker in the world,” Cindy was always eager to learn, especially through observation and hands-on learning. Cindy gained experience on the Medical-Surgical floor and transferred to the Emergency Department a few years later. She was comfortable in the fast-paced ER world and before long was known as the great organizer and educator of cleanliness in the Department. At the start of her shift, staff would see her stocking and readying patient rooms and the Nursing Station. She led by example, never complaining. 

Cindy practiced Emergency Nursing tirelessly, and all her patients benefited from her full nursing expertise and thoughtful, meticulous, personal attention. She educated patients and “told it like it was” to those patients who needed a boost in their own self-care of body and mind.

In the middle of her medical career, Cindy developed a desire to be in Law Enforcement. She became a Santa Barbara Police Reserve Officer and served 15 years, during which she was involved in many risky cases. She was a great asset to Santa Barbara PD and our community. Cindy continued to keep many friends close from this time of her life that she referred to as “my danger days.”

Cindy met Mike Schwab during a Santa Barbara Police function in 2000. His eyes fell on her immediately and he asked her out the next day. Cindy and Mike dated, fell in love, and married in a private ceremony on a Maui hilltop in 2002. Together they shared a wonderful life full of adventurous journeys both in the States and abroad. As a couple they enjoyed hiking, roaming the local beaches, visiting friends while walking their dogs, and decorating and caring for their home and garden. Cindy shared a close rapport with her neighbors and is remembered as “the glue of our neighborhood.”

Cindy’s childhood love of “Lassie dogs,” Rough Collies, easily wrapped itself around Mike. Her life always included raising and caring for Collies. She leaves behind her 2 beloved dogs, Flirt and Lucy. Mike will remain tirelessly dedicated to them.

A particular fondness of Cindy’s was shopping, traveling with friends just for fun and attending Nursing conferences both internationally and in the U.S. Whether shopping for herself, Mike or their home, she loved vintage, antique, and repurposed goods, as well as keeping up with the newest fashion. Close friends would happily say “yes” to a Spa Day and shopping adventure with her.

Cindy died in her home with Mike at her side. She met her death as she lived – independently, with a sense of humor, determined not to make a fuss, privately, with dignity, and accompanied by love.

A Celebration of Life for Cindy is to be determined.

In lieu of flowers, please volunteer or make a donation to Santa Barbara Humane Society,, in memory of Cindy Ingham.


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