Justice For Lita

Lita Byrnes was a beloved member of the Wallingford
community taken from us on March 11, 2018

About Lita

Lita Byrnes

Born in Hawaii on December 26th, 1979, Lalita “Lita” Kealalani Byrnes truly embodied the warmth and sunshine she inherited from her birth state throughout her life. She took her role as big sister to Bhakti, Patrick, Chris, Jaya and Dharma to heart and was always seen as a cornerstone of support and love.

Lita's deep connections weren't limited to just her family; during the decade she lived in the Wallingford neighborhood of Seattle, she was instrumental in bringing a sense of connectedness and community to the digitally networked neighborhood through her devotion to the Wallingford Community Facebook Group. She also advocated for local micro-giving, in which neighbors freely give items and their time to other neighbors to reduce our impact on the environment while bridging connections with others, and nurturing a community where taking care of each other is at the heart of its residents.

Lita Byrnes in Wallingford

Lita was a proud Husky, graduating from the University of Washington with a bachelor’s degree in psychology. She was a born leader, who led with fairness, kindness, and inclusivity. Lita had a special way of communicating and interacting with others; it’s not uncommon to hear her friends and acquaintances alike say that she helped them become a better, kinder, more inclusive version of themselves.

Lita had a tattoo of a rocking chair on her arm that symbolized the steadfastness of friends that grew old with you, took time to know you, slowed down, and spent their hours, days, lives in community with you. Lita was that person for many. She was the first person to offer to help you move or tear down a fence or care for your pet while you were away. She was an activist for the homeless and those in need. She was the kind of person to bring flowers and chocolates to a neighbor on bed rest. She was a phenomenal baker who also loved cooking, sewing, making homemade jam, gardening, and taking care of other people. She was funny and sweet and gave great advice. Kids loved her. She had hundreds of succulents that she tended with absolute care. Now, those succulents are spread out among her the people who loved her the most.

Lita’s family and friends continue to keep her legacy alive through staying connected, being kind, and supporting one another. Thank you, Lita, for sharing yourself with all of us during your short time on earth. We will always Keep it Kind in your honor.

Within days of Lita's passing, the community gathered at the traffic circle near her Wallingford home to hold a vigil and mourn her loss. For months following, friends, family, neighbors, and people who never had a chance to meet Lita came to the circle to light a candle and leave a token of their love. Lita's Circle has continued to evolve and is now a mini park where the community comes together as a way to both mourn and honor her.

Lalita Kealalani Byrnes
December 26, 1979 - March 11, 2018