Kate Svitek Memorial Foundation
Kate Svitek Memorial Foundation

From Loved Ones & Friends

Letter from Abby Shaw

Kate, Sista Katita, well really just Sista. I’m not really sure where the nickname came from. I don’t want to contradict someone else’s idea of where or how it came about because the name itself says so much.

We were sistas – the kind that live together, the kind that fight, the kind that make-up and then grab lunch at the Manor and wind-up talking about nothing at all. I loved our lunches, Kate knew every place in Burlington that made good tuna and she was the first one I called when I found a deli that sold Boars Head meats. (Well, really the only one I called because no one else would appreciate it like we did.) Yes, good tuna, cold cuts and cottage cheese – we shared a special (maybe strange to some) appreciation for it.

Sista even got Jill into cottage cheese. (And I was proud at first but I must admit I always knew deep down it was Sista’s fault that the last bite of cottage cheese was gone, even when Sista wasn’t even there because she taught Jill to love it!)

You see, Sista and I had it all worked out – she liked big curd and thick cottage cheese and I liked little curds and what she called the "puddle." This may all sound strange to a non-cottage cheese fan, but we spent many hours discussing the finer points of cottage cheese that no one else would ever think of.

For me, it’s the little things I love about Kate and it’s the little things I remember and want to forever. I loved how she loved to lay on the floor. When she moved in next door at Harris Hall, every time I’d pop my head in she’d be laying on the floor just chillin’ or sitting around. I loved it when she came into our room – she’d just sit on the floor (which wasn’t exactly the best seat in the house).

It might not be what everyone remembers, but it’s what I remember and what I loved! I’ll never forget when we moved to Wing Hall and Kate brought a big case of tuna, my brother couldn’t believe it and called Kate tuna girl for a short while instead of Sista.

We were so excited about the George Foreman grill I got for my birthday (but it got kinda gross pretty fast so she went back to baking chicken in the floor oven). Kate was by far the best and most innovative cook I knew in college! We had the best dinner parties EVER. Sista was always responsible for getting us together and ready for a feast. She was the real reason we got 2 free turkeys at Thanksgiving from Price Chopper.

Summer before Junior year we took Astronomy in summer school. We had no idea what this man was talking about and thought we were going to see our future in the stars, little did we know the man wanted to teach us physics and relativity!

Anyhow we had a good time riding our matching TREK bikes down on the nice paved path at the waterfront. Oh, did I mention our mountain bikes that we went off-roading all the time with… Right, well I will never in all my life forget our ride down Killington Mountain on our mountain bikes. Oh what hell!! Kate flipped over her handlebars twice and ended up with a flat tire. I was scared out of my mind (which I’ve never admitted to anyone but Kate until now) but we both ended up laughing about it. We still road down that nice path occasionally.

Decision Making class… Let’s see, we both decided taking the class was a very bad decision. The man teaching the class had a harder time making decisions than either of us, so we had to be okay.

The little gifts – like this writing paper Kate gave me before I went to London. She loved this store in Burlington that sold all sorts of little things like writing paper, fun pens, and stickers. It wasn’t unusual to get a little package with a card with horsey stickers and a little piggy stuffed toy (my 2 favorite animals).

It was great to be liked by Kate, it was great to be Kate’s friend because she was really a "Sista." One of those amazingly unique people that touch everyone around them in a different way. I know everyone will have different stories and memories because Kate meant something different to all of us. She gave us each something we needed; taught us each something special about ourselves.

Kate’s friendship will always be with me; she has left an imprint on my soul that will be with me forever.

Abby Shaw

< Back to From Loved Ones & Family