|Birth: ||Jan. 16, 1975|
|Death: ||Apr. 29, 1997|
El Paso County
JACINE RENEE GIELINSKI, 22, died April 29, 1997, in Colorado Springs. She was a senior communications major at the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs.
Services were in Littleton.
They gathered with bowed heads and puffy red eyes. Most clutched white carnations.
It was an appropriate flower for a ceremony Tuesday at CU-Colorado Springs. A carnation has a short life - so did 22-year-old Jacine Renee Gielinski. And the color? Campus Police Officer Susan Szpyrka explained that.
"The white is appropriate because it means innocence," said Szpyrka, who bought 200 carnations for the crowd. "Jacine was innocent. Brides get to wear white at their wedding. She didn't even get to do that."
More than 300 people, including Gielinski's mother, stepfather, grandparents and boyfriend, were at the memorial service at the campus plaza. Gielinski, a CU-Springs student and former member of the women's volleyball team, was abducted from a Rockrimmon area condo complex April 29, then raped and killed. Two suspects who didn't know Gielinski are in custody.
It was an unusual crime in terms of its brutality and randomness. People still shudder and shake their heads when it comes up in conversation.
A tribute to Jacine Gielinski - long applause and a standing ovation - highlighted graduation ceremonies Friday at the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs.
School officials wanted to honor Gielinski - who was kidnapped, raped and stabbed to death last month - by awarding her degree to her mother, Peggy Luiszer.
When Gielinski's name was called, thousands of students, their relatives and friends stood and began to clap.
The poignant moment was part of a ceremony that marked the end of college and entry into the working world for 1,034 graduates - the school's largest class. Last year, the school awarded 941 degrees.
Applause was slow at first as Luiszer walked across the stage in a black graduation gown and mortar board to accept her daughter's degree.
Then the applause built and rolled across the crowd of about 2,000 on the campus lawn. It lasted several minutes and ended with the entire crowd on its feet.
Although she wasn't scheduled to graduate this year, the ceremony gave the school another chance to honor Gielinski, who played one season of volleyball for the university. She was to graduate next year with a degree in communications.
"People who know Jacine . . . tell me she was a really special person dedicated to making a difference," University Chancellor Linda Bunnell Shade said in her commencement address. "We join her family in grieving and their loss and we grieve our loss as a university."
Bunnell Shade said she hopes the tragedy of Gielinski's death will give people the courage to make Colorado Springs a safer and better place.
"The fragility of life underscores human achievement," she said.
Two funds have been established in memory of Jacine Gielinski. They are:
Jacine Gielinski Scholarship Fund, c/o Littleton High School, 199 E. Littleton Blvd., Littleton, Co., 80120.
The Jacine Gielinski Memorial Fund, account number 220136-00, c/o Ent Federal Credit Union, 805 N. Murray Blvd., Colorado Springs, 80915-3409
Jacine was born Jan. 16, 1975, in Englewood. Her mother and stepfather, Peggy and Bob Luiszer, live in Littleton. Her father, Jake Gielinski, is deceased.
She also is survived by her grandparents, Warren and Maida Navis of Fountain Hills, Ariz.; a stepgrandmother, Maggie Frederick of Arvada; and her boyfriend, Tim Ratican of Colorado Springs.
Jacine played volleyball and basketball at Littleton High School and volleyball at CU-Colorado Springs. She graduated from Otero Junior College, where she also played volleyball.
She worked as a desk clerk at Embassy Suites and at a sports bar.
Memorial contributions may be made to the Jacine Renee Gielinski Memorial Fund, in care of Littleton High School Athletic Department, 199 E. Littleton Blvd., Littleton 80121.
James M Gielinski (1944 - 1994)
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Originally Created by: Mark and Elizabeth Forev...
Record added: Jul 24, 2006
Find A Grave Memorial# 15028519