Lyn Cikara


Lyn Cikara in front of a beautiful Douglas Fir tree

Lynnette (Lyn) Mijen Cikara, Occupational Therapist and Coach, passed away on January 5, 2020. She was born and raised in Edenvale, a suburb of Johannesburg, South Africa, on August 29, 1950. She received her Bachelor of Science in Occupational Therapy from the University of Witwatersrand (Wits) in 1973. Being an Occupational Therapist (OT) wasn’t just a career, it was her passion. She modeled and molded her students into passionate OT’s and was one of the top psychiatric OT’s in Johannesburg, both clinically and in her supervision of her students at Wits. She enriched the lives of every patient and therapist with whom she worked. This experience led to the opportunity for her and her family to immigrate to the United States in 1994. Upon landing in Elkhart Indiana, she experienced her first blizzard. She learned about wearing layers, snow angels, creating snow sculptures, and the unpredictability of lake effect snow. In 1999, she became a professional Executive Coach and started her own business, Manager’s Success. As a coach, she helped elevate her clients’ skills as managers and leaders so they were successful in communicating their vision and goals which contributed to the success of their work. In 2008 she headed west to Portland, Oregon where she continued her OT career and grew her coaching business to Lyn Cikara Leadership Development. She retired as an OT in 2017 to focus on growing her coaching business fulltime.

Lyn Cikara enjoying a boozy milkshake

She was extremely creative and loved to sew and bake, had a deep love for trees, forests, and roses, she loved classical music, and was a strong and courageous woman. She instilled all of these things in her five daughters and her legacy will live on forever.

Lyn Cikara with her daughter

Lyn Cikara with her daughter

Lyn was preceded in death by her father, Issac Samuel Mijen, her mother Lettie Mijen, and her brother Victor Mijon. She is survived by her daughters Lauren (Amy Pitlik) Cikara of Denver, Colorado, Samantha Cikara of Portland, Oregon, Melissa Cikara of Portland, Oregon, Megan Cikara of Washington, DC, and Sarah-Jane Cikara of Portland, Oregon, her sister Querida Siebert of Edenvale, South Africa, and a loving extended family in South Africa, Greece, Israel, the United Kingdom, and the U.S.

Lyn Cikara with her family.

Lyn spent her last days with her daughters, laughing and sharing stories. Everyone who knew Lyn knows she lived her life loudly, with love, joy and compassion.

Lyn Cikara playing with bubbles

A celebration of Lyn’s life is being planned for May 2020 in Portland, Oregon when the roses start blooming. If you would like to receive information about the celebration, please email and provide your name and contact information.

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46 entries.
Holly Campbell Holly Campbell from Brownsville TX wrote on January 26, 2023 at 12:26 pm
Lyn was my very first OT mentor in Goshen IN. She lit a passion in me that still burns bright today from 2007. I hear her often in my thoughts. She will always live in me professionally and personally. Love never ending to you Lyn and eternally grateful to have crossed paths with you in this lifetime ❤️
Nathan Webster Nathan Webster from Vancouver wrote on October 30, 2020 at 10:49 am
I miss my friend right now. Lyn was a fighter who loved life and helped others. She was proud to be feisty and determined. We sharpened each other. A kind-hearted soul who is missed. Blessings to her daughters, family members, friends, and all miss her too.
Kari Powell Kari Powell from McMinnville wrote on August 26, 2020 at 10:23 am
Lyn's first birthday gone is this weekend, and she is heavy on my mind. She had the fortune of having a birthday right on that spot where the air and the light changes, the first sign of autumn, the promise of relief from summer's heat. It is my personal new year, and I loved feeling that and having her to celebrate right with it. We would then proceed happily into fall, marveling at the color changes together. I'm probably going to cry when I see a stunning red maple, or a blazing yellow grove of aspens this season. I'm also going to smile like a huge idiot, as I will see her smile, her sparkling eyes that also delight in that beauty, reflecting back, through those trees.
Laurel McSpadden Laurel McSpadden from Portland wrote on January 28, 2020 at 3:14 pm
When I first met Lyn at one of Melissa's parties, I thought, "Who is this stunning, stylish woman?" I soon learned that her outer beauty matched her inner beauty. She is one of the most authentic, warm, curious people I have ever been lucky enough to meet. Conversations with her felt like a gift. I met her at a pivotal point in my life and it wasn't until hearing the news of her passing that I realized how much she gave me. She was the first person to commission me for an artwork, at a time when I had no confidence as an artist. We met at Beermongers, talked for hours, and I went away from that meeting feeling inspired and with a new sense of purpose. The world lost a bright star when Lyn passed. Her generosity will echo through all who had the good fortune of meeting her.
Leo MacLeod Leo MacLeod from Portland wrote on January 22, 2020 at 2:52 pm
I was saddened to hear Lyn's passing. We both served as executive coaches for a common client. I had two brief encounters with her, and I was impressed with her intelligence, passion and humor. It was obvious to me she knew what she was doing and really cared about how to help people grow. She seemed to thrive on exchanging ideas with a boundless energy and spirit. Lyn certainly left her mark, as her coaching clients will continue to grow and evolve from the work they did with her.
Robert and Catherine Carr Robert and Catherine Carr from Coventry UK wrote on January 19, 2020 at 12:43 pm
Rob and I had the pleasure of knowing Lynn and family when we lived in Edenvale SA. I was able to teach several of her children and we worshipped at the same church and prayer group. Our professional relationship developed into a fun and loving friendship.Lynn was such a source of encouragement , we were amazed at the lengths she was prepared to go to in her profession to be the best,even blindfolding herself ,so that she could really understand how her less sighted patients felt and coped with their situation. She encouraged Rob and myself to take on a new challenge, leaving SA to work in Botswana. On arriving in Botswana we phoned to say we were safely there only to be told by Lynn that she had cancer,no problem,she had bought pretty scarves to wear if and when she lost her hair!!Lynn was amazing ,she had a solution for every challenge. May she rest in peace and may her family know the difference she made to so many lives.
Maryann , Joe ,Fabian, Gaby and Dani Maryann , Joe ,Fabian, Gaby and Dani from Johannesburg, South Africa wrote on January 15, 2020 at 1:15 am
Lyn proved that cancer cannot invade your soul or steal anything from you and so she will always be a hero in our eyes. Her heritage was as unusual as she was and we loved the life story of her family. She was exceptionally clever and a great academic and a very talented crafter- always creating and making something - and the best fridge cheesecake in town . Most of all however we will remember her as the strong mother of our 5 beautiful nieces and cousins and know her passing is a huge gap in this universe. We will miss our long distance chats . RIP Lyn
Lindiwe Lindiwe from Johannesburg wrote on January 14, 2020 at 7:55 am
Oh such warmth (figuratively and literally)... I am one of Mama Cikara’s daughters... she fed me at times, picked me up from school at others and reprimanded me always... my mother took me and my younger sister into her home and heart when it wasn’t safe to do so in the midst of ‘ratial riots’ in South Africa 🇿🇦... a gesture that reconfigured my reality, made me safe and gave us hope... she created a UTOPIA for us... playtime was everything with my friend Lauren. We the Zwane’s appreciate and Love Mama Cikara... what an impactful life she lived - she left heart prints 😢😢😢😇
Jamie Slyter Jamie Slyter from Beaverton wrote on January 14, 2020 at 3:25 am
I was privileged to know lovely Lyn for a very short, yet very special time in her life. I will always hold her spunk, her vitality, and her beautiful light sacred in my heart.
Dalena Dalena from Portland wrote on January 13, 2020 at 11:11 pm
I was deeply saddened to see the news of Lyn's passing. Although I met her about 2 years ago, we developed a fast connection and nice relationship. When I think of Lyn, I think of her intelligence, generosity, warmth, and sense of humor, and will miss seeing and learning from her. To her family, I'm so sorry for your loss and hope you find comfort in holding on to all of the memories you made together.
Tanya and Craig Cikara Tanya and Craig Cikara from Johannesburg wrote on January 12, 2020 at 8:08 am
My husband Craig and I were very fortunate and privileged to have shared a very special time in our lives with Aunty Lyn. We decided to elope to America for our wedding and have the ceremony in Portlad, Oregon where we stayed with Lyn. The 5 days we spent with Lyn and the girls were unforgettable, where to start? Firstly, Craig fell ill for the first 3 days and immediately Nurse Lyn came to the rescue, she made him 'special oats' just like when he was a little boy where she used food colouring to make a smiley face 🙂 I (Tanya) spent quite a lot of time with Aunty Lyn and fast learned that she was head strong, positive and full of chutzpah, definitely something to look up to! She was excited to show me all that Portland has to offer and more, she knew my late mother LOVED flowers and plants and took myself and Sarah-Jane to the gorgeous Rhododendron Park to experience its beauty. Lyn kept reminding me to 'remember' my mom and take in the beauty while thinking of her, a memory still very fresh today! I woke up early one morning to write my wedding vows and she sat with me while I read them to her, I had got emotional about my late mother, she was there to give me beautiful words of peace and then would distract me with a funny story or plan something for the day. She especially loved to talk about the Culture of "Keep Portland weird" and delve into letting me absorb all of Portland's Weirdness and I just couldn't get enough of it and her energy! Aunty Lyn, we miss you dearly and will always remember your "nothing can hold me down" attitude, an attitude we can only hope to strive for. All our love, Tanya and Craig
Pam Pam from Portland wrote on January 11, 2020 at 7:36 pm
Lyn was a special friend and quite a lady! I knew her for only a few years, after meeting at a yoga class. She was thoughtful, genuine, authentic, sincere and had a special interested in others. We shared season ticket's to the symphony and I was always impressed with all she knew about classical music. We had many conversations about the joys and sorrows that go along with life. Her "light" will shine on.
Brian Wolf Brian Wolf from Portland wrote on January 11, 2020 at 7:21 pm
Each moment with Lyn was a true gift. Having only engaged with her a few times, I still feel real loss at the news of her passing. She was a woman who drew you into conversation with warm eyes and a quick smile. As soon as she started talking, her words beckoned you to live more fully, to work with better diligence, and to care for people the way she did. Thank you for your friendship Lyn.
TONA L BREWER TONA L BREWER from Portland wrote on January 11, 2020 at 1:11 pm
I only met Lyn twice and she made an extraordinary impact on me. The first time was last spring at a Center for Women's Leadership event. I had had a particularly rough day at work and almost considered not going. I did go with full intention of showing my "game face," as this was a networking opportunity, I didn't want to convey any of the stress I was feeling. Lyn was leading the small discussion group I was part of and gently, kindly created a space where I could open up. She took some time to connect and gave me some true support. Not in the "poor you" variety, but as the coach she is, in a way that helped me calm myself and some practical advice to move forward. We met again for coffee a few months later and that hour was one of the most memorable of my life. She was so wise and kind and funny and insightful. I signed up for her newsletter and have exchanged a few emails since, always intending to connect again, and regretting now that I cannot. I want her daughters to know that I will never forget her. What an amazing woman.
Dan Stagg Dan Stagg from Heber City wrote on January 11, 2020 at 9:48 am
Lyn was one of those "genuinely nice" people I've been able to get to know. I'll remember her for her optimism and constant smile. Her love of life will be missed.
Nick Davidson Nick Davidson from Portland wrote on January 11, 2020 at 6:42 am
Lyn was a huge positive influence our lives. She counseled and supported me through my cancer treatment and always showed our family unconditional love. No words can describe the love and respect my wife and I have for Lyn. We will miss her for the rest of our lives. Our deepest sympathies go out to the Cikara family. We will continue to honor Lyn's legacy by living in accordance to the values and principles she taught us. with great love and sadness, -Nick and Jill
Trevor Leahy Trevor Leahy from Beaverton wrote on January 10, 2020 at 4:10 pm
I had no idea Lyn was struggling with an illness, because her spirit, optimism, and outlook on life was so cheerful and encouraging to others. Lyn was always happy to chat with me and helped me better understand how to help a family member cope with cancer. I'll never forget Lyn's generosity of time, her good energy, and I'll miss her always. Thanks for everything, Lyn!
Brad Barton Brad Barton from Spanish Fork wrote on January 10, 2020 at 1:58 pm
Lyn was a wonderful sparkle brightness in our SCC mastermind group. Although I only knew her a short time, she lifted my spirit. She will be missed.
Suzanne Watson Suzanne Watson from Portland wrote on January 10, 2020 at 11:52 am
I am deeply touched and saddened about the loss of lovely Lyn whom I met through OAME. She was a kind and caring person who was a great champion of many causes. I was thinking not long ago that if anyone can be this horrible predator, cancer, one more time ... it would be Lyn. I recently started reading her book... just for the read... and had been meaning to let her know i was doing so. Though i try not to have regrets, i am not happy about not taking the opportunity to do so and now the opportunity is gone for good. To Lyn's daughters, she spoke lovingly of you. My prayers to the daughters and other family. She has left you a great legacy of human kindness. I share in your tears. Peace and blessings to you as you go through this process.
Mike McCartney Mike McCartney from Swanton OH wrote on January 10, 2020 at 8:42 am
Lyn's warmth and kindness were hallmark traits that helped her excel in her life's work of helping others. I knew Lyn for only 2 years but in that short time I saw knew her as insightful and courageous in battle; I will miss her. May she now enjoy her eternal reward for her lifetime of serving others. And may God bless her family.

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