EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

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October 24, 2013

A dream cut short


Lindsay Schoen, who graduated from both Andover High and Assumption College a year ahead of Ritzer, said that while they weren’t close, they were always friendly with each other.

“The one thing you always noticed about Colleen was her smile,” Schoen said. “It was one of the biggest smiles you’ll ever see.”

She noted that Ritzer was also a “great math student. I had her in a few math classes at Assumption and she was a great student ... She really was one of the sweetest people I ever met.”

Cars streamed up to the house at the corner of Dascomb and Blood roads all day yesterday.

In the afternoon, an uncle, Dale Webster, brought out a statement from the family typed on a white piece of paper.

“At this time, we are mourning the tragic death of our amazing, beautiful daughter and sister,” it read. “Everyone that knew and loved Colleen knew of her passion for teaching and how she mentored each and every one of her students. We would like to ask everyone to respect our privacy at this most difficult time. Thank you all for your thoughts and prayers.”

Assumption College President Francesco Cesareo also issued a statement, saying that Ritzer graduated magna cum laude with a bachelor’s degree in mathematics and a minor in psychology with a concentration in secondary education.

“Colleen will be missed by all those who knew her,” he said. “The Assumption community will keep Colleen’s family members in its thoughts and prayers during this time of great sorrow and loss.”

Yanofsky said he wasn’t surprised that Ritzer became a teacher.

“I do remember her talking about it in high school,” he said. “I knew that she would be great for the job, because of her attitude toward people. I knew that students of any age would respond to her bubbly demeanor.”

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