Danvers teacher Colleen Ritzer was a 'beautiful soul'

Posted: 10/24/13 at 9:50 am EDT      Last Updated: 10/24/13 at 11:12 pm EDT

ANDOVER, Mass. -- Friends and family of Colleen Ritzer are still trying to come to terms with the tragedy. Ritzer's friends and family and school community members remember her as loving passionate and friendly.

Jennifer Berger said Ritzer was her best friend, and that she was always there in good times and bad.

“I just want people to know how good of a person she was that she cared about all the people in her life. Our relationship was something special. She was the type of person there for me in the worst situations but also in the best situations. I’ll miss her always,” Berger said.

Other friends said engaging with students and getting them involved in anyway possible was her passion.

“That wasn't just an act she would put on to impress the kids or make them like her. That was who she was,” Dan Yanofsky said.

Ritzer did attend Assumption College and graduated magna cum laude. She was currently attending Salem State University pursuing a graduate degree and hoping to teach students with special needs.

At the age of 24, Ritzer was still remembered by her high school teachers.

“She was living her dream and her dream was taken away from her and we are all at a loss for words here. She was perfect and she was a beautiful soul and she was taken from us. Hopefully we will get some answers because it’s a shame,” a former teacher of Ritzer Joe Spanos said.

Funeral arrangements have yet to be made.

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