• Friends remember slain Danvers High teacher


    ANDOVER, Mass. (MyFoxBoston.com) -- No sooner did the wake being than a massive line formed in front of St. Augustine's in Andover.

    Roses in Colleen Ritzer's favorite color, pink, were passed out to those waiting to pay their last respects.

    Also, tears from many trying to cope with her death. Hundreds of people came to say goodbye to a friend, a teacher and a college roommate.

    "There's nothing I won't miss," said Caroline Rufo, who was Ritzer's roommate at Assumption College.

    "She was a wonderful inspirational person and an inspriation to all of us," said Rufo. "She was an inspiration to me to live my life to the fullest every single day."

    Natalie Geeza added Ritzer was the glue who held them all together. She always remembered to keep in touch, sending holiday cards or letters when the friends lost contact.

    Friends say teaching was Ritzer's dream job.

    "She always wanted to be a teacher. I just think it was her natural instinct from the beginning," Rufo said.

    It's painful that the very thing she loved to do was the thing she lost her life doing. Police said Ritzer was killed, allegedly at the hand of one of her students, inside Danvers High School.

    The overwhelming sense of loss felt every place Ritzer touched. Tributes to her with pink balloons let loose by the Danvers field hockey team; the Danvers football team wearing and passing out stickers honoring her memory; Cheerleaders from another school setting pink balloons free all to honor Ritzer's memory.

    All that emotion and effort show something her roommates already knew and how many others feel over the sudden and inexplicable loss of a young woman whose life touched so man

    "There's gonna be a void in our hearts and I don't think anything can ever fill that," said Rufo.

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