Crash vic­tim re­mem­bered as ‘beau­ti­ful soul’

Worked with those liv­ing with men­tal health is­sues, helped home­less care for their pets

The Hamilton Spectator - - LOCAL - NATALIE PAD­DON npad­don@thes­pec.com 905-526-2420 | @NatatTheSpec

Kathryn Stachyra lived to lend a hand to any­one who needed it.

The Hamil­ton woman — de­scribed as a “rare” and “beau­ti­ful soul” — worked with those liv­ing with men­tal health is­sues and played an in­stru­men­tal role in found­ing a lo­cal non-profit ded­i­cated to help­ing the home­less care for their pets, ac­cord­ing to her life part­ner of more than two years, Martin Lemieux.

Stachyra, 37, died in hos­pi­tal Satur­day night sur­rounded by loved ones fol­low­ing a two-ve­hi­cle crash on the Queen Elizabeth Way near Brant Street last Mon­day af­ter­noon.

Given her pas­sion for help­ing oth­ers, it is only fit­ting that four of Stachyra’s or­gans will be do­nated, said Lemieux, 38.

“She was able to save some more lives even af­ter death,” he said Sunday.

Stachyra — who had a masters de­gree in so­cial work — al­ways seemed grate­ful for the op­por­tu­ni­ties she had to help other peo­ple, re­mem­bered Jane Ge­orge, ex­ec­u­tive direc­tor of Well­wood, a non-profit for peo­ple di­ag­nosed with can­cer and their fam­i­lies.

In the sev­eral years she vol­un­teered as a yoga in­struc­tor with the non-profit, Stachyra al­ways brought an “ex­u­ber­ant, bub­bly” per­son­al­ity to her prac­tice and had an “ut­ter sense of joy” in ev­ery­thing she did, said Ge­orge.

While Stachyra’s spir­i­tu­al­ity shone through in her yoga and med­i­ta­tion prac­tices, she also liked to rock.

Band­mate Dan Padro said their Mis­sis­sauga-based en­sem­ble, Whiskey Con­cus­sion, had never had a lead singer that fit bet­ter with the group than Stachyra.

Her grav­elly voice, her abil­ity to con­nect with the au­di­ence and her en­ergy on stage made her a star, he said.

She brought a sense of spon­tane­ity to the band and an out­go­ing and fiery per­son­al­ity that made things fun — like the time she broke out into “She Talks to An­gels” by The Black Crowes for a small au­di­ence in a park­ing lot af­ter band prac­tice.

“We don’t think we’re ever go­ing to find any­one who’s as good of a fit as she is,” he said.

De­spite her com­mit­ment to the com­mu­nity around her, friends and fam­ily were No. 1 on Stachyra’s pri­or­ity list.

“Her pas­sions of yoga, mu­sic and an­i­mals were only se­cond to the pas­sion of lov­ing her fam­ily and friends,” said one of her best friends, Sarah White.

“She loved us in­tensely, with her whole heart and whole self, unashamed to hug and kiss us, tell us she loved us.”

Stachyra leaves be­hind her par­ents, sis­ter, aunts and un­cles, cousins and long­time friends.

OPP said the in­ves­ti­ga­tion into the col­li­sion, which in­volved a Toy­ota Corolla and a com­mer­cial ve­hi­cle, is on­go­ing. Sgt. Kerry Sch­midt said last week it ap­peared the com­mer­cial ve­hi­cle, a “cube van,” may have been dis­abled or slow­ing down on the QEW when the col­li­sion hap­pened.

MARK NEW­MAN, METROLAND

Kathryn Stachyra, from Hamil­ton, died fol­low­ing a two-ve­hi­cle crash on the QEW.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Canada

© PressReader. All rights reserved.