Friends and family of Sascha Franzel gathered on the Oval Monday night for a candlelight vigil to celebrate and remember a life cut unexpectedly short â€” one marked with a kind heart and infectious laugh.
â€œOur moms met at Lamaze class,â€ said Alana Calhoun, a junior at CSU. â€œWe actually knew each other from the womb.â€
Calhoun said the two were â€œpractically soul mates,â€ adding that, â€œWhen she laughed, you just couldnâ€™t help but laugh along.â€
Calhoun was among the more than 150 people who came to the Oval to share stories and memories of the third-year CSU student who passed away from unknown causes in her apartment Saturday evening, just two and half weeks from her 20th birthday.
Describing themselves as â€œstruck and overwhelmedâ€ by the outpouring of community support, Saschaâ€™s parents, David and Sonia Franzel, said many people have approached them to talk about the positive impact their daughter had on so many lives.
â€œAs a parent, thatâ€™s what you want to read about and thatâ€™s what you want to see, what you want your kid to be,â€ David said during a gathering at the Chabad Jewish Center of Northern Colorado earlier Monday evening.
Both David and Sonia flew to Colorado from their home in Honolulu, where Sascha grew up.
â€œWeâ€™re devastated,â€ David Franzel said. â€œThereâ€™s no rhyme or reason to this.â€
According to her parents, Sascha was passionate about helping others through community service. She was active in various charities, as well as in Hillel, the center of Jewish campus life at CSU.
â€œShe always loved to volunteer,â€ David Franzel said. â€œIt was nice to hear that she was carrying that on at CSU.â€
Described by friends as a lover of music and sushi, Sascha was also known for her sense of humor.
â€œI met Sascha freshman year,â€ said junior English major Kevin Bartz. â€œWe were walking along trying to find something to do when she found out Iâ€™d done theater. She kept bugging me to sing with her.â€
While sharing memories, attendees also sang “Seasons of Love,” a song from “Rent,” one of Sascha’s favorite musicals.
“She would be absolutley blown away to see how many of you are here and how many lives she touchd,” said Karen Franzekl, Sascha’s aunt from Fullerton, Calif.
Sascha was a biology major and, according to her parents, hoped to work in medicine after graduating.
“I knew her as a delightful, wonderful student,” said Dean of Students Jody Donovan, who met Franzel when she was a freshman. “She was a spark of light, filling the campus with her spirit, and she’ll continue to fill it.”
News Editor Erin Udell can be reached at email@example.com