Marist College held a memorial service to remember the lives of three young people that were lost in an off campus fire last weekend. Our John Wagner was at the service and has the latest on what faculty and fellow students are saying.
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POUGHKEEPSIE, N.Y. -- Over 1,500 students and family members packed the McCann Center to show their respects to three very memorable 21-year-old students.
"We're all really upset and were going to miss them a lot, but we'll remember them," said Danielle Dezao, a fashion major and friend of Eva Block.
Songs, prayers, eulogies and tears. At times a positive reflection, at others, a somber, tearful reminder that Kerry Fitzsimons, Eva Block and Kevin Johnson are no longer with us.
"We have lost three of our best in the prime of their lives," said Dennis Murray, President of Marist College. "Young adults full of promise, hope and love."
"When I think about them I just think about how wonderful and amazing and beautiful and happy and optimistic they were," said Amanda Ponte, a bio-med senior and friend of Kerry Fitzsimons. "And I'm glad the service really encompassed all those things.
The service honored each victim collectively and individually. Communications major Kevin Johnson from Connecticut, was described as creative and talented and an easy going skater boy.
"The smile and the thumbs up, always that positive bright attitude," described Ellen Penchuk, a Marist student and friend of Kevin Johnson from his hometown in New Canaan.
"One simple, happy prayer of faith today is Kevin, Kevin, Kevin, skateboard into heaven," said Dr. Gregory Sand, who taught Kevin in a philosophy class.
Eva Block of Connecticut, an eclectic senior fashion major, with a bright future.
"Even if you weren't a fashion major, you knew Eva because of what she was wearing that day and we're just really going to miss her," said Madeline Bergeron, a fashion design major and close friend of Eva's.
And Kerry Fitzsimons from Long Island, a senior bio-med major who planned to graduate in May and use medicine to help others.
"It brings tears to my eyes, but she could always put a smile on her face," said Danielle Holmes, a 2011 graduate of Marist and close friend of Kerry's.
"Kerry lived her life with enthusiasm and a positive attitude and now we have to as well," said Christopher Bowser, an environmental science professor who both taught and worked with Kerry.
Funerals will be held Friday for Kerry Fitzsimons in Commack, New York and Kevin Johnson in New Canaan, Connecticut. But students and staff must now resume classes, taking with them three wounds that may never heal.