A Peterborough family is truly touched by the overwhelming outpouring of support that has overwhelmed them with incomprehensible emotions.
A GoFundMe account, set up to help Jeff Kitney following the tragic loss of his wife, Lucia Collaci, has more than tripled its original goal of $10,000.
But it is the support and words of affirmation from family, friends and community that matter most. Collaci died of injuries sustained in a single-vehicle collision on the morning of October 31. The Peterborough native was commuting to work at St. John Paul II Catholic Elementary School in Lindsay where she taught 5th and 6th grade.
“Lucia had a heart of gold and cared about every person she let into her life. She touched so many…but her true love was her husband and children. These are the individuals who will also carry her light. These are his greatest accomplishments in life,” Collaci’s sister-in-law, Jessica Kitney, said.
Collaci met her husband while working together at the Holiday Inn in Peterborough – the couple married in 1992 – and she also managed Champs for many years.
“She was so full of life. She had a smile that would brighten anyone’s day. She was, without a doubt, the most generous person I have ever met,” said Collaci’s mother-in-law, Shelley Hamelinck.
Collaci’s family meant “everything to her,” Hamelinck added, noting that she was deeply devoted and committed to the couple’s three children, Mateo, 15, Marco, 12, and Natalia, seven.
This love for her children undoubtedly influenced her decision to become a teacher 15 years ago.
“One of the most important things she did was teach. She loved children. She loved being part of their lives; help them, watch them grow,” said mother-in-law Shelley Hamelinck.
To that end, the family has requested that in Collaci’s memory and in lieu of flowers, donations to Teachers for Kids be appreciated.
A funeral mass was held at St. Alphonsus Ligouri Roman Catholic Church in Peterborough on Tuesday, November 8, followed by interment at Rosemount Memorial Gardens.
A fundraiser for the family will also be held Nov. 24 at the Royal Canadian Legion in Peterborough, 1550 Landsdowne Street, from 2 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Online condolences can be made at www.highlandparkfuneralcentre.com.
Those wishing to help the family can contribute via