Penticton family honours loved one with acts of kindness, free coffee

The family of Kathy Castle want to ensure she is remembered by the community

Penticton resident Kathy Castle lost her nine month battle with lung cancer on June 20, 2013. Now her family marks the anniversary of her death by giving back to the community in small acts of kindness, honouring Castle’s memory of being a generous and caring person. (Photo submitted)

What normally would be a sad day for one Penticton family is now an opportunity to pass on an act of kindness.

Kathy Castle lost her nine month battle with lung cancer on June 20, 2013, and rather than letting the anniversary of her death pass by, her family chose to honour her charitable spirit by doing something nice for the community. This year, her daughter Kristin Maier gave $100 and a stack of posters explaining who Castle was to the Tim Hortons on Westminster Avenue West to pay for the morning drive-thru coffee orders and spread the kindness.

Penticton resident Darryl-Jean Cerenzie was surprised to be given a free coffee when she went through the Tim Hortons drive-thru on Westminster Avenue West the morning of June 20. She discovered this gesture was in honour of Kathy Castle, a Penticton resident who died six years ago on this date. (Photo from Facebook)

“Every year we do something. The first year I was so sad, I couldn’t imagine going through it again a year later and I was still post-partum so I decided we had to do something happy because she was a happy, caring and generous person,” said Maier. “So it was a Saturday morning and we went to the farmers’ market and bought 100 flowers from Lisa’s Fresh Cut Flowers, her favourite florist, and we put little tags on them and just walked up to people at the market and gave them flowers, my daughters, my dad and my husband and I.”

Other years the family has honoured Castle in different ways, from distributing her books around the community with stickers inside letting the reader know who she was, to giving out cupcakes at her granddaughters’ school. They also have gone around to businesses in Penticton and given out flowers and lottery tickets to receptionists, an occupation Castle previously held for many years.

READ MORE: Penticton woman who once lost everything finds her passion in giving back

Maier said her family loves honouring her mother this way, because with each small gesture they encourage the recipient to continue to pass it along. She said she still receives messages from people in the community who stumble across these gestures in some way.

“Two years ago we painted 100 rocks with kind words and left them all over town, so that when people are walking and someone is sad, if they look down they’d see there is happiness out there,” said Maier. “My mom was the most loud, vivacious and organized person, it’s weird that she’s not here because she was in charge of everything. So the fact that her name isn’t out there really bothers me. So we’re just trying to remind people that she was here, and she mattered, and she was a really awesome person.”

Maier said now the anniversary of Castle’s passing is something her daughters look forward to because it means a chance to do something nice for others. She said they were very close with their nana and this is a way for them to remember her and honour her memory.

Darryl-Jean Cerenzie was one of the recipients of a free cup of coffee on Thursday morning and posted on social media how it made her day.

“I felt like this was the most amazing way to honour your loved one … I drink my coffee with gratitude and send love to your family and especially your Nana. I shall also pass this forward sometime today and share this sweet memory with someone else,” Cerenzie wrote.

To report a typo, email: editor@pentictonwesternnews.com.

Jordyn Thomson | Reporter
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