Elizabeth Catherine "Katya" Sousa, resident of Pacifica, California, devoted daughter and generous friend, passed away peacefully on Wednesday, May 14, 2014 in San Bruno, California.

Katya was a member of the Bahá’í Faith. She leaves a legacy of faith that demonstrated the oneness of humankind through the universal experiences of laughter, joy, silly jokes and the desire to love and be loved.  She was a teacher of tolerance and lived as an example of openness.

Katya regularly attended services and events at the Peninsula Metropolitan Community Church, appreciating the openness and loving friends she found there. Many from the congregation helped her during her long illness. Their visits and helpful spirits eased her soul.

She profoundly touched the lives of many all over the world through her sincere love of humanity, her random acts of kindness, and her groundbreaking work with the Bahá’í Network for AIDS, Sexuality, Abuse and Addiction (BNASAA), which embraces and assists individuals in healing deep emotional wounds and reconnecting them with their faith. Her warm smile, her spiritual insight, and especially her signature sense of humor will be missed.

This message came to us from the BNASAA Committee of the Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá’ís of Canada:

Her services on the Committee, her ability to network with people, her sterling qualities and her sense of humour will be sorely missed by those who served with her. Her tireless contributions to the work of BNASAA and her constant support of the conferences the Committee sponsored will long be remembered by those who had contact with her.

Katya is survived by her mother, Mrs. Helen Sousa of Amherst, Massachusetts, as well as numerous friends all around the world.  In her brief time here with us, she touched many lives with her love.

A scholarship fund has been established in her name to enable individuals with limited means to attend BNASAA conferences and workshops, all of which are open to people of all faiths. In lieu of flowers, please consider a gift to The Katya Sousa Memorial BNASAA Scholarship Fund, LSA of the Bahá’ís of Pacifica, PO Box 1141, Pacifica, CA  94044. To donate online, click here.