Young woman killed in Surrey crash remembered for being “perfect in every way”

It was a celebration of life for a bright young Surrey woman who clearly had everything going for her.

About 1,000 mourners, joined by about 30 Mounties dressed in red serge, packed Langley's Christian Life Assembly Church on Thursday afternoon to say goodbye to Kassandra Kaulius, 22, who was killed on May 3 when her sedan was T-boned by a speeding van driven by a 34-year-old woman suspected of being drunk behind the wheel.

By all accounts, Kassandra Kaulius was a model citizen whose life, though short, was well spent. The youngest of a large family of Lithuanians, the scholarship-winning softball pitcher and coach was deeply loved by her family and friends, several who spoke at the podium beside a large heart-shaped wreath made of pink roses, her #15 softball jersey and a white teddy bear.

Rob Upton, a coach for the Surrey Storm Softball Association, said Kaulius never had a bad word to say about anybody and was the "ultimate definition of a team player."

"Boy, she loved to pitch. Number 15 will never be replaced," Upton said. "She'll be on the field with us every game."

The mourners heard that Kaulius led a well-balanced but busy life, holding down two jobs while studying at Fraser Valley University to be teacher, coaching and playing sports, and spending time with her fiancé Cody Schlamb, who clearly loves her deeply.

"Last week, I lost the best part of my life," he said, flanked by two friends who would have been his best men. "You were my world, and now you're going to be my inspiration. You brought so much joy.

"You were perfect in every way."

Despite his immense loss, Schlamb pleaded with the mourners not to be consumed with hatred for the woman who crashed into his fiancé.

Rather, he asked them to honour Kaulius's memory "by just loving each other a little more."

Her sister, Miranda, asked all the mourners to pledge never to drink and drive. She said her family has been "completely humbled" by the support they've received from loved ones and strangers alike after her sister's death.

"I used to call her my Barbie doll," she said, describing her as "a girly girl one minute, and one of the boys the next.

"Kassandra meant everything to me," she sobbed. "My heart will never be whole again."

Kaulius's mom, Markita, described her daughter as a "gentle soul" whose father Victor doted on. "At 22, he would still cut the crusts off her sandwiches," she noted.

"This tragedy has affected an entire community." It's high time, she said, that society says "no more" to drunk driving. "We owe it all to her to change the laws of Canada and have zero tolerance for drinking and driving causing death. Our family asks that you all stand not behind us but beside us as we try to changes the laws.

"If you stand beside us, then the criminals that cause these accidents will not be able to get through the walls of justice.

"We should all be outraged, and we should speak up," she said, "and do something about this so no other friends, or family or community has to go through this. And speak up, speak for Kassandra and all the others who no longer have a voice."

Kaulius's cousin Dan echoed that.

"Like dogs on a meatball, we're not going to let this go," he said.

The driver of the van that struck Kaulius's car, at 152nd Street and 64th Avenue, has not yet been charged.

"She is facing charges," Surrey RCMP Cpl. Drew Grainger said. "The charge has not been approved by Crown yet."

Her name has not been released.

Source: The Vancouver Sun

See also: Families for Justice


Last updated on: 2012-08-17 | Link to this post