As a violinist softly played "Amazing Grace" on Wednesday evening, the tears began to fall.|
Many of those gathered at Palm Beach State College began to cry at the memory of Dacota Stewart-Dick, their friend and colleague who was stabbed to death by her husband Sunday morning.
They had gathered on the school's MLK Plaza for a vigil to remember the woman with the friendly face who helped who helped freshman students adjust to college life through PBSC's first-year experience program. Gentle, humble, caring and understanding were among the words used to describe Stewart-Dick, 53.
"She was just super sweet, super welcoming," said PBSC associate professor Manuel Larenas, who teaches an introduction course to the college experience. "The kind of person that makes sure she's listening to you and not distracted by other things."
Dick's husband, Alrick Oral Brown, 38, has confessed to the slaying, said authorities in Broward County, where he remains in custody.
PBSC sophomore Farrington James was among a group who sang one of Stewart-Dick's favorite songs, John Lennon's "Imagine." He said he got to know Stewart-Dick while working in the first-year experience program.
"She was just great woman, a very humble woman, strong in her faith" James said. "And just very nice. You never saw her mad at all."
Peter Barbatis, vice president of student services at PBSC, described Stewart-Dick as an innovator.
"She was the first one hired in this position, and in her short time, she was able to create traditions, when sometimes it's hard in higher ed," Barbatis said.
"She was very dedicated to students and their success."
Published in The Palm Beach Post on Feb. 6, 2014