Javalit "Liti" Kitiyakara was born in Madison, Wisconsin on July 7, 1958, where she was raised by her Thai father, Amara Kitiyakara, and English/German mother, Janet Kitiyakara (née Grimm), alongside brothers, Kiti and Amarit (“Ami”). When Liti was nine, the family moved to New Iberia, Louisiana, where brother, Narunart (“Narti”) was born, and, a year later, to New Orleans, where, in her teenage years, she designed and made her own stylish dresses and immersed herself in the latest rock music trends emerging from England, with a particular affinity for David Bowie, Yes, and Pink Floyd.
At nineteen, Liti relocated to Providence, Rhode Island to stay briefly with a family friend, then to strike out on her own. Seeking to find balance and direction,she transitioned from renting a room, to having her own apartment where she explored many interests, including writing, poetry and researching her own family history along with that of other families with similarly colorful genealogy, eventually becoming the de facto Kitiyakara family historian. Her Thai, English, and German ancestry sparked her interest in researching the lives of those who came before her. She was an impassioned writer, and irrepressibly gregarious, with the ability to strike up a meaningful and memorable conversation with anybody, no matter the context.
Liti continued on to build a family in Providence, eventually including six children, Benjamin, Punareay, Punleu, Molly, Sarahjane, and Harry. Encouraging her children to spread kindness, she was a wonderful mother who always put others before herself. Liti confided to her children that her overriding aspiration was always to be a mother. In this role, she drove her children to think for themselves, challenge their own views, and to always be kind to others.
Liti eventually acquired her own home, where she worked tirelessly to provide for her children and care for her cats, while making time for continuing her genealogy research, writing, gardening, and collecting and trading of memorabilia, including old dolls and historic postcards. She loved to travel and, though reluctant to fly, loved to go by train, having traveled across the continent on several occasions to visit her mother and brother, Ami, on the west coast. Liti loved the train experience, where she enjoyed an intimate view of the countryside and the many towns and cities across the continent. Train travel gave Liti the luxury of seemingly endless hours to meet people from all corners of the world and to learn all about their lives and experiences, resulting in deep and lifetime friendships. Her goofy jokes would put a smile on anyone's face, and her giddy personality spread happiness to everyone around her. Liti made an impact on countless lives, succeeding in her goal of being a fantastic mother and raising six children who love her unconditionally and will miss her deeply, as will her mother and brothers and many others whose lives she touched.
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