Local death shakes community

2011+graduate+Marilynn+Alvarez%2C+who+passed+away+recently%2C+loved+to+travel+and+visited+New+Zealand+in+January.
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Local death shakes community

2011 graduate Marilynn Alvarez, who passed away recently, loved to travel and visited New Zealand in January.

2011 graduate Marilynn Alvarez, who passed away recently, loved to travel and visited New Zealand in January.

Photo taken from the Facebook page of Marilynn Alvarez

2011 graduate Marilynn Alvarez, who passed away recently, loved to travel and visited New Zealand in January.

Photo taken from the Facebook page of Marilynn Alvarez

Photo taken from the Facebook page of Marilynn Alvarez

2011 graduate Marilynn Alvarez, who passed away recently, loved to travel and visited New Zealand in January.

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With candles in hand and heavy hearts, dozens of family members, alumni, and local residents gathered at Celebration Park Saturday to pay their respects and to remember class of 2011 graduate Marilynn Alvarez who passed away April 1 after being injured in a skiing accident.  It’s believed complications during surgery may have led to cardiac arrest, but an autopsy will provide the official cause of death.

For her family and friends, the cause ultimately does not matter as Alvarez was just 22- years-old.

“The hardest thing for me is just accepting it,” younger sister Janice said. “I mean we didn’t see this coming, most people die of sickness, or old age and she wasn’t that sick, or at least, I just didn’t know. I just thought she had a stomach bug. I didn’t know.”

Just trying to be there for everyone is my main priority, but definitely seeing everyone that I love so hurt is the hardest thing for me.”

— Jennifer Alvarez

As hard as it is for her younger sister to understand, things are perhaps even harder for the rest of her family.

“My mom is really hurting from it, and I can’t imagine losing a child,” older sister Jennifer said. “And just trying to be there for everyone is my main priority, but definitely seeing everyone that I love so hurt is the hardest thing for me.”

That hurt extends to campus where high school friends and teachers are still reeling from the news.

“We were in yearbook, magazine, and newspaper together,” 2011 graduate Emily Heidt said. “She was involved in a lot. Gosh, it’s just super shocking. I think I’m going to see her on Monday, but I’m not.”

AP Spanish IV and V teacher Mallin Hernandez knew Alvarez from their mutual knowledge of the Spanish language.

“I knew [Alvarez] because we crossed paths in the hallway every day, and she spoke Spanish so we would be like ‘hi, how’s it going, what’s going on, in Spanish,’” Hernandez said. “She wasn’t my student because she took French for three years, but her friends were my students so she was in my classroom a lot. I truly could not believe that she passed. It is just truly a shock to hear anyone that young passing, and especially somebody that you saw everyday for three years. Kids are not supposed to die.”

I truly could not believe that she passed. It is just truly a shock to hear anyone that young passing, and especially somebody that you saw everyday for three years. Kids are not supposed to die.”

— Spanish teacher Mallin Hernandez

At UNT, Alvarez was a member of the Kappa Delta sorority and was one of six student senators for the student government association. Scheduled to graduate with a bachelor’s degree in marketing in May, she will be awarded her degree posthumously.

Down the road that may take on more importance, but for now, her friends and family are thinking of much simpler times.

“We had a lot of good times in Mexico with her as kids,” Jennifer said. “I remember one time we went to Acapulco, and got corn rows. That’s probably the most memorable time for us, I mean we didn’t have anything to worry about because we weren’t adults yet.”

 

The visitation for Marylinn Alvarez is Tuesday night at 7 p.m. at Turrentine in Allen and the Mass is Wednesday evening at 5 p.m. at St. Mark’s in Plano.
Funds are being raised for Alvarez’s family at http://www.gofundme.com/maryalvarezfund.

 

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