Kaya Cibildak passed on February 5, 2013 in San Antonio, Texas after a brief illness, surrounded by those he loved most. Kaya was a man who knew who he was, was humble before his God, and fulfilled his duties as a son, brother, husband, father and grandfather with complete love, honor, and dignity. He was a man of few words - and strong convictions.
Kaya was born in Aydin, Turkey on March 1, 1935. He knew at a very young age he would be a mechanical engineer and attended the Endustri Meslek Lisesi in Tire/Izmir. Kaya served as a Technical Sergeant in the Turkish Air Force for nine years before immigrating to the United States to marry the love of his life, Josephine. In Texas, he received his bachelor's and master's degrees in engineering from the University of Texas at Austin and Arlington, respectively. As a P.E., Kaya's professional career included Boeing (as a design engineer on the super-sonic transport project), Brown and Root, KM Ng and Associates, Goetting and Associates, and United States Government - Fort Sam Houston, where he specialized in energy conservation. He was green before "green" had a name. Kaya never stopped learning and caring about the world around him; he was a newshound. He believed that education was power and that there was nothing more enjoyable than flying kites with his grandchildren.
Kaya's legacy is a strong united family: his wife of nearly 50 years, Josephine Casas Cibildak, daughters Aysel Cibildak and Ayten Cibildak, son(-in-law) Patrick D Hauger, his much loved and adored grandchildren, Carolina and Sebastian Hauger, and the Madrina, Christine Tricia Ann Scarlett.
Additionally, Kaya leaves a beloved first cousin, Hidayet of Tire, and numerous nieces and nephews in Turkey - the Cibildak family of Istanbul and the Olmez family of Izmir.
For those who wish to honor Kaya's life and memory, please consider a donation to one of the organizations that Kaya believed in: The National Wildlife Federation (www.nwf.org ), Greenpeace (www.greenpeace.org ), the Humane Society of the United States (www.humanesociety.org ), the Sierra Club (www.sierraclub.org), the Nature Conservancy (www.nature.org), and the University of Texas at Austin, Cockrell School of Engineering (www.engr.utexas.edu ).
Published in Express-News on Feb. 8, 2013