Former teacher and adventurer passes away
FORMER Kiewa Valley woman Kaya Chlopicki has been remembered as a unique and special soul following her passing on June 28.
Born Kay Myers on September 2, 1939, she grew up in Paignton, South Devon, England with her two sisters Jean and Dawn and lived a simple life with much care for her younger sister and mother.
At 18, she married Antoni Chlopicki and two years later had her first child Irena with a second daughter Lydia and a son Julian following.
In 1965 she immigrated to Australia with her young family, to be closer to her Polish relatives.
Once she adapted to life in Australia she began school teaching to those that needed extra help and then became an ESL teacher where she was truly loved by all children and their families.
Kaya always took the extra time and care to meet the children where they were at, taking time and finding ways to meet their individual needs.
She also befriended many nuns and priests within the community.
Kaya moved to Victoria in the early 1980s and built her home in the Kiewa Valley at Coral Bank.
She fell in love with the mountains and the simple country life and continued teaching over many years.
She also travelled to Nepal and trekked the Himalayas, visited the remote Mentawi islands, cycled tandem through many European countries to raise money for World Vision while also enjoying abseiled, hiking and swimming.
Kaya was blessed with five grandchildren who she adored and later in life spent much of her time in Byron Bay where her daughter Lydia lived.
“She loved to spend time on the beach wandering barefoot along the seashore with the fresh ocean breeze,” Lydia said.
“Mum loved to sing praises and celebrate the beauty of god’s creation, she had a deep appreciation of nature, the birdlife, the flowers and trees and the peace it brought.
“As a mother she was so kind, she was fun and playful, colourful and different.”
In her last few years after losing a close friend and then her beloved son Julian, her health and wellbeing deteriorated.
She resided in Hawthorn Village in Bright for just over two years and enjoyed daily walks to the riverside and parks.
She was a lover of ice cream and said when she died she just wanted a bubble and ice cream party.
“She decided she would get ready for the party early and so would make sure she had an ice cream often,” Lydia said.
“We plan to place a plaque in her honour on a bench in Mt Beauty, someplace where friends may sit and take time to remember her and maybe share an ice cream.”