Kayla Rodasti, 29, died Nov. 25, 2014. “She left this world for the next one,” her family said. A celebration of her life is at noon Saturday, Dec. 13, 2014, at the Peanut Farm in Anchorage. Another celebration of life was held on Dec. 2, 2014, in Homer. Her family said they were touched and humbled by the outpouring of love and affection that night. They were shown things about her through others that they never before saw.
She was born Dec. 13, 1984, in Houston, Texas, and spent most of her early childhood in the Houston area with her grandmother, Lynda Sue Newman. She was like a mother to Kayla, and they would also go on to live in Costa Rica and Georgia. When she was 15, Kayla moved to Alaska to be with her mother, Katherine Aubry-Robbins. She attended Chugach High School when she first arrived, and graduated in 2003 from Polaris K-12 in Anchorage. Kayla first visited Alaska when she was 7 and her mother was living in Dutch Harbor. Kayla left for a brief time to live in Boise, Idaho, with the father of her children, Chuck Wood, “another beautiful soul in her story,” her family said. Her daughter Isabelle was born there, and all of them were lovingly looked over by Mike and Shelly Chrisman.
“Kayla was an incredible being. She had rough patches, but she never let it keep her down. She always moved forward and always came out better. Her outward beauty was rivaled only by the beauty of her soul. She was that rare, perfect combination of strong and glamorous. She looked as good in brown XtraTufs as she did in a little black dress. She literally sparkled. She couldn’t carry a tune for love or money, but she played the piano and violin. She had a wicked sense of humor, and could laugh at even the worst things in life. She was an amazing artist, incredible mother, loving daughter, sister, wife, and a true and steadfast friend,” her family said.
The brightest souls in her galaxy were her daughters, Isabelle Sue Wood and Zoe Matilda Wood. They were the world she rotated around. She was fortunate enough to have found great love in her life and was married to Bob Van Oordt in 2012.
“She would not want us to be sad. Instead, she would want us to come together and let our memories of her carry us across this ocean of grief we’ve never navigated before, and cannot cross alone. The calm and healing of the shore is there. We can’t see it yet, but we will,” her family said.
Kayla is survived by her children, Isabelle Sue Wood and Zoe Matilda Wood; husband, Bob Van Oordt, and mother Katherine Aubry-Robbins, all of Homer; her sister, Sadie Florence Robbins of Anchorage; grandmother, Lynda Newman of Anniston, Ala.; grandparents, Donald and Florentina Aubry, and her aunt, Donna Sue Spratling, all of Flowery Branch, Ga.; her father, Donald Langston of Texas, and many more relatives across and outside the United States.
In lieu of flowers or other remembrances, a savings trust for her daughters may be contributed to at any Wells Fargo. The name on the account is Charles Wood, account number 6413606234.
Her mother and sister cite this poem, “Animals,” by Frank O’Hara, in her memory: “Have you forgotten what we were like then / when we were still first rate / and the day came fat with an apple in its mouth / it’s no use worrying about Time / but we did have a few tricks up our sleeves /and turned some sharp corners / the whole pasture looked like our meal / we didn’t need speedometers /we could manage cocktails out of ice and water /I wouldn’t want to be faster /or greener than now if you were with me / O you were the best of all my days.”