By Leslie James

On Sept. 27, a memorial ceremony was held at the Centennial Campus courtyard for student Christopher Pepper, his mother, Barbara Pepper, and PPCC Philosophy Professor Rachel Dewey.

The Peppers were victims of a homicide on May 12. Rachel Dewey lost her life in a fatal ski accident on March 19. Dewey was skiing with family on the back side of Pikes Peak. She is remembered as an avid and talented skier.

Accounting Professor Melissa Allen assembled the memorial for the fallen members who were a part of the college community.

Ten people gathered at the campus to share stories and poems. The group consisted of fellow classmates and teachers of the deceased. Allen printed a brochure made with portraits of Pepper and Dewey, along with a kindhearted poem dedicated to the lives lost.

Allen had Pepper in her class. She said all his papers had the Ohm symbol drawn on them. This symbol of unity and peace is printed on the brochure to honor Pepper, who, Allen said, brought a unifying presence to the class.

Philosophy Chair Richard Trussell knew both Pepper and Dewey. He shared his idea of life being an arc, putting into perspective that Pepper lost his life at the peak of the arc. Trussell said Dewey lost her life also in a violent way but died doing what she loved.

To commemorate the lives of the Peppers and Dewey, three trees will be planted at the Centennial Campus courtyard.

Communities such as PPCC will face tragedies every year. Allen hopes to celebrate the lost lives in the future and continue planting the trees in honor. Allen said PPCC hopes to have a memorial service every year for any deceased member of the college community.