Asti Livingston Koesoemawiria, a local 45-year-old woman who died in a plane crash Thursday, Sept. 16, was an experienced pilot taking part in a cross-country rally for women.
She was flying with her friend Susan Begg, from Ottawa, who was the owner of the Mooney plane and the pilot, who died later in hospital. Both women had more than 20 years of flying experience.
Asti was born in the Philippines and grew up in Borneo. She was a mother of four, and had her youngest son, Jethro, 10, a Crossroads Public School student, living with her. Her older children are Jonas, 22, Margaret, 20, and James, 18.
Asti was described as a “beautiful spirit” in her obituary.
“She will be deeply missed by all who knew her and who were inspired by her charm, generosity, persistence, and ambition to excel,” it said.
“Asti was a passionate mother, daughter, sister, and friend. Her smile could light up a room and she was always up for an adventure or new experience.”
The father of her children lives in London, England, and he and many relatives, including her parents from Indonesia, and her brother from Bali, flew to NOTL when they heard the tragic news of Asti’s death, and were there for the visitation, and a funeral mass and celebration of life, which was held at St. Vincent de Paul Roman Catholic Church Monday.
Gail Bevilacqua, from Newmarket, met her close friend Asti “on the red carpet in Toronto,” and they instantly clicked.
She told The Local she is “still numb” at losing her friend, who had so much to live for, “so much life ahead of her.”
She had had an unusually busy summer, says Bevilacqua, having finished writing a second feature film and meeting with her producer. “I’m not sure where she was in production.” With all Asti had going on in her life, her friend says, “it really bothers me that she was taken so early.”
Asti was someone who spent a lot of time laughing with her — so much so that it was hard to be quiet in moments when quiet was called for — and who always had a big, beautiful beaming smile, she says.
Asti was always very generous, kind to others, and an inspiration to those who knew her, says Bevilacqua.
She was also very well-rounded, and involved in many activities she loved. “Anything she did was done with such energy, attention and focus. And if she was at home with her kids, the focus was on her kids.”
A Rye Street neighbour met Asti, who had moved to NOTL in 2018, when Asti was helping her son Jethro, then eight, learn to handle “their very large dog” in Rye Park.
As she got to know Asti, she realized her neighbour was multi-talented, and a very accomplished woman — an actor, singer, writer, divemaster and pilot.
She also came to know Asti as someone who was “bubbly, outgoing, wonderful, loving and caring,” and loved her sense of priorities — on her website, Asti says, “you only have one shot in life, make the most of it! Shoot for the stars.” And that, she said, perfectly describes her friend.
Asti and Susan were flying to Sundridge South River Airpark, says Bevilacqua, to take part in the Gold Cup Air Rally, a cross-country event held by the Canadian Nine-Nines, a group for female pilots.
The pilot and co-pilot were close friends, with very different characters, but that “put together made for a beautiful relationship.”
The pair had flown together previously in the rally, and were the only Canadians.
The plane crashed close to the airport — close enough that some of the pilots on the ground saw it go down.
Asti supported a regular feeding program for the poor led by missionary Father Alex Rubio, in the Philippines. Please contact Morse & Son Funeral Home in Niagara
Falls if you wish to make a donation.