Kwantlen education fund created in slain woman's name

Maria Catroppa -
Maria Catroppa
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According to her four grown children, Maria Catroppa was a giving and loving mother, grandmother and friend.

Born in small-town Italy in 1940, she married at age 18 and moved to Canada in search of a better life.

The couple had four kids, who recall the Catroppas being a "typical new immigrant family" – until their father passed away in 1974.

As a single mother, however, Maria managed to keep the family together and keep food on the table. She vowed she wouldn't remarry until her children were grown.

In 1999, she married Sebastiano Damin. The two were married for ten years before Maria was killed in November 2009. Damin is currently on trial for her murder.

Maria's children believe their mother was a victim of domestic violence and have created a university endowment for women in Maria's name.

The Maria Catroppa Memorial Award Fund at Kwantlen Polytechnic University aims to help single mothers further their education.

"Although Maria fought adversity during her life," reads a description of the award, "she did not let it define her; instead, she shared her heart and her home with all who entered. She demonstrated love, determination, and perseverance throughout her life and believed that education was the key to success."

To donate to the Maria Catroppa Memorial Award Fund, or to learn more about it, phone 604-599-2010.

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