—Pia Kraus Aitken—
Pia Kraus Aitken, also known by her professional and pen name Barbara Harwood, died at San Javier Hospital in Guadalajara on August 14, 2015. With her death the Lakeside community lost one of its most gifted and caring residents. An adopted child as a ten-month old baby by parents in the small agricultural town of Sidney, Nebraska she grew up on a wheat ranch. Jewish by birth—but a fact not known to her until she was 19.
She was also very musical, starting to study the piano at age 4, and as well had a lovely soprano voice. These musical gifts stayed with her in many forms throughout her life. In 1997, Pia wrote the The Healing House, a best-seller on Amazon.
Pia moved to Ajijic in 2007 with her husband, Dr. Donald Aitken, bought a house in West Ajijic and converted it to the first all-solar-energy house lakeside. An accomplished pianist, she frequently held musical evenings in their home. She was the Volunteer Coordinator for the annual Northern Lights Music Festival, and served on the Board of Directors of the Lake Chapala Jewish Community. Pia is survived by her husband, daughter Robyn Gothelf of Detroit, MI, and son Victor Bannon. She was a beautiful woman, inside and out, and will be sorely missed by the Lakeside Community.