Friends, family and Filling Station Espresso customers filled the Red Lion Hotel ballroom Saturday afternoon to say goodbye to one of Olympia’s most beloved small-business owners, Cynthia “Cyndi” Dickson.
Dickson, who owned and operated the Filling Station Espresso for nearly 20 years, died Jan. 14 following a battle with cancer. She was 64.
The crowd celebrated Dickson with food, wine and, of course, coffee from the Filling Station. A slideshow showed pictures from throughout her life, and people were invited to the stage to share stories.
Daughter Carissa Dickson said she still can’t believe her mother is gone, and that she felt lucky to have been raised by a single parent who gave her the support of two loving parents. She said many people in the community feel that way, too.
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“Even the people who just knew her as the nice coffee lady with the cool earrings are shocked,” Carissa Dickson said.
Cyndi Dickson was born and raised in Sedro-Woolley and spent much of her 20s living in Los Angeles. In the late 1970s, she moved to Olympia. She worked in restaurant management for Arnold’s Downtown Restaurant and The Bristol House Restaurant.
She purchased the Filling Station Espresso, at the corner of Fourth Avenue and Plum Street, in 1995 when her daughter was a freshman in high school. The espresso stand became a refuge for Carissa Dickson and her friends — many of whom worked there. Carissa Dickson is continuing to operate the business.
After her daughter married, the trio bought a house together. They lived there with Cyndi Dickson’s mother, Norma Dickson, who died in 2013.
Gaelen Fechner, Carissa Dickson’s husband, said that life with Cyndi Dickson was filled with love, good food, coffee, wine, chocolate and furry friends.
She enjoyed spending time in the garden and walking with her dog, Layla.
Besides her daughter and son-in-law, Dickson is survived by her sister and brother-in-law, Lynda and Richard Lennox; four nieces; and six great-nieces and -nephews.
Cyndi Dickson would want all of her friends to live that kind of happy life, said her daughter.
“I think she would want us all to live each season to the fullest, whatever that means to us,” Carissa Dickson said.