Mistress Aja da Varese, OL, OP Passed Away

It breaks my heart to share this news: Mistress Aja da Varese,known to the modern world as Kare Mantegani, slipped away from us late evening on February 14, 2007. Aja passed from this world after a more than two year battle with cancer, a fight that was marked by her indomitable strength of spirit and fierce determination.

Right up to the last, Aja was supported by her wonderful husband, Richard of Havn, and her last days were full of a steady stream of many people who loved, respected and admired her.

Aja joined the Society around AS 9 in what was the Barony of the Isles in the Principality of Caid. For many years, she lent her considerable talents to support for the Equestrian Arts, planning events, making heraldic items, and fund raising for rental horses so that more might enjoy the art. In the mid-70’s, she was recognized as a practical expert on the Bayeaux Tapestry and was invited by Dr. Ana Pra-Perochon to participate in a UC Berkeley class on the subject, including displaying her wonderful SCA-inspired rendition of a Bayeaux panel. She was a quiet mainstay of the Caldarium Shire until more recent years, when she felt called to more active service on behalf of the Kingdom.

She was immensely and diversely talented, and she shared her gifts with us all: she was Laureled for her exceptional scribal art, but was also recognized for her virtuoso needlecraft. She shared her more modern talents with this Kingdom through her programming efforts that modernized the College of Scribes (striking a mighty blow to the Dread Beast Backlog), and through her practical administration of the Kingdom Exchequer’s office – service that resulted in her membership in the Order of the Pelican. Her courage and conviction earned her the thanks and admiration of the Crown, who made her a Baroness of the Court of the West.

I am hard pressed to think of anyone more loyal to her personal principles or more steadfast to her friends than was Aja. She was my teacher, my friend, and the sister of my heart, and like so many, I will miss her more than words can truly express.

Many of you have asked about services – please be patient until more decisions are made. Most immediately, many Westerners who loved, respected and admired Aja fought in her honor in the Cancer Tournament, at the Estrella War.

Eliska z Jihlava