Lawrie's passing

Lawrie's passing

With heavy hearts, his son and family would like to share that:

Our dearest Lawrie passed away peacefully in his sleep on Friday, December 29th, 2023.

This was a shock to all of us as he spent the prior week having a great time meeting friends, enjoying holiday festivities, living his best life. We were all looking forward to another moment together soon, and not prepared for this immense and sudden loss. He will be dearly missed.


Please join in remembering and celebrating his life as we pay our respects and process together, Friday, January 5th, 2024 at Saint Maria Goretti Parish:

717 Kennedy Road, Scarborough, Ontario, M1K 2C1 (Google Maps)

  • 9am: Viewing
  • 10am: Funeral service
  • 12pm: Burial at Christ the King Cemetery (Markham, Ontario)

For anyone unable to attend, the ceremony and internment livestream will remain online afterwards.

Add your story

The family invites you to add memories and photos of Lawrie to his Dignity Memorial page:

Lawrie Coutinho Obituary - Toronto, ON
Share Memory


Full text

In 1997, my parents arrived in Canada, first living directly opposite this church, which means this space has been our spiritual home for around 26 years, over a quarter century: the exact place to have this ceremony. It wasn't possible for my late mother, Maria, because of COVID restrictions, and considering that many of you know Lawrie because of her, this might be a moment to remember them both as one unit, as they were after all inseparable: before I was born, he would send letters from Dubai to her in India; after she passed away, he'd write about their life in Word documents or on his blog, and send it to everyone. Being together with her was clearly one of his deepest experiences, and now, as many people have suggested to me, they're together again. This spiritual home which hosted their arrival, now hosts their departure.


To me 'Lawrie', or 'Sonny', was my father. I was his only child. Other people might know him as:

• Maria's husband for over 35 years;
• a brother, to four siblings in Canada and India;
• a kind, helpful friend who would be there when you need him;
• co-worker, colleague, and comedian, at the same office for over 25 years;
• a musician, playing at church services from a dozen parishes;
• singer and video maker, on YouTube with over 300 subscribers (that's more than I have);
• writer, of his own life story with about 15 blog posts;
• dancer, at the Swing Toronto meetup;
• the travel agent who took my mom and I from Dubai all over the world;
• then a solo traveller who joined me in Portugal, Berlin, and Vietnam;
• a wonderful home cook, who despite my encouragement remained too shy to send his food to friends because he thought it "wasn't so professional";
• a comical spirit with an unmatched sense of humour, impressions, timing, and quick response jokes.


My father really lived his last years, as if to say yes to everything. This was new to me and beautiful to watch.

On our last phone call, we talked about the swing dancing. He told me about registering for the meetup some weeks ago: showing up alone without a dance partner or any friends who might make it more comfortable; only observing for some time; then trying the moves solo to figure them out; then working up the courage to attempt with a dance partner. He eventually got comfortable enough to guide other beginners when paired with them. I found myself genuinely inspired to witness my own father at 70 years, reflecting on breaking out of his comfort zone, trying something new, throwing his often timid soul into a group of people where he didn't know anyone—something that even my adventurous spirit would find a bit uncomfortable. He said it's his 'cap-o-ei-rra', which is the name of my hobby of movement that mixes martial arts, dance, and acrobatics; he was trying to say that he's moving too, just like his son.

On hearing all this, I thought the sky's the limit. Here's a person in continuous evolution, making the most of life. Also in the midst of many holiday encounters, smiling and beaming his enjoyment and laughter to everyone along the way. I was so curious to see where this all goes, how everything develops. And then he was gone.


I'm grateful for the connection he and I had, especially in the last few years, and for the many ways all of you here were a part of it: each person adds their flavour, something special in the mix, and the result is remarkable, something that nobody could imagine.

Today we still have each other. We are now all connected through him, and can use this moment to get to know one other, maybe allow ourselves to be surprised by what we didn't know about him, perhaps making a new friendship along the way. Nurturing fragile connections can turn into something quite profound over time, and help bring the world more closer than apart.


Thank you dad, and safe travels.


More recordings on Strolling.

Recent moments