Danvers High School teacher Colleen Ritzeris seen in this undated photo provided by the family of Ritzer. (AP Photo/Courtesy of Dale Webster via the Lawrence Eagle-Tribune)
A former college roommate of Colleen Ritzer says the 24-year-old Massachusetts high school teacher who was allegedly killed by one of her students was an ever-positive, uplifting influence on all who knew her.
Caroline Rufo, who was among hundreds of mourners who attended the visitation at Andover's St. Augustine Church on Sunday, says Ritzer - quote-- "was an inspiration to me to live my life to the fullest every single day."
Rufo goes on to say "there's going to be a void forever in our hearts." And as she puts it, "I don't know that anything can ever fill that."
Ritzer's funeral Mass will be held at 10 a.m. Monday.
Her body was found in the woods behind Danvers High School on Tuesday.
Fourteen-year-old Philip Chism is charged with murder in her death. He has pleaded not guilty.
Chism's public defender says the teen's mother, Diana, is heartbroken for Ritzer's family and is asking people to pray for them.
Ritzer's family has established a memorial scholarship fund to benefit Andover High School graduates who also pursue teaching careers.