Heartbroken students, faculty and friends gathered Wednesday to mourn the three students lost in a fire at Marist College over the weekend, vowing to keep their memories alive.
Eva Block, 21, of Woodridge, Conn., died with Kerry Fitzsimmons, 21, of Commack, N.Y., and Kevin Johnson, 21, of New Canaan, Conn. Johnson was a Dutchess Community College student and the young women were Marist students.
The students were killed when a fire tore through an off-campus home. Four others escaped by jumping out windows.
Marist College President Dennis J. Murray said at the memorial service that the college community had "lost three of our best in the prime of their lives."
They were "young adults full of promise, hope and love," he said.
Some family members of the victims attended the memorial; Block's mother sent a note that said her daughter had found her passion and "home away from home" at Marist.
Murray said Fitzsimmons' father told him that the young student also loved the school.
Mourners wept as those who knew the students took the lectern, describing fond memories.
Fitzsimmons was recalled as "one of the most positive, upbeat people" anyone had ever met.
Block was remembered as "totally fearless," a young woman intent on pursuing a career in jewelry design.
A former professor of Johnson's choked up as he recalled the student always arriving to class on a skateboard, wearing a baseball cap -- a "typical happy-go-lucky" guy who turned out to be a talented creative writer.