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Winchester's wife killed in the library remembered as a loving, compassionate person









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Deane Stryker

WINCHESTER – Hundreds of grief gathered on Sunday at the Winchester Unitarian Society to brutally mourn the death of a young woman as she calmly moved in public library of the city read. Authorities have not identified the victim, but the president of the university in which she participated, and several friends said she was 22-year-old Deane Stryker, a Winchester High graduate of the College of Osteopathic Medicine of the University of New England studied.

Friends in the church remembered Stryker as a young woman committed to helping others as a doctor, and who, as teenagers, cared for the children and nearby Temple Shir Tikvah.

"This is a time to support each other and be together as a community," Rev. Heather Janules said to the gathering in the Church

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Janules called the "Spirit of Love" to the community of Winchester.


"Bless us in the midst of this place of broken hearts," she said.

  Winchester, MA - 25.2.2018 - People hugging each other as they walk outside the church to hang peace cranes on branches in a church. Moment of community reflection during the services at Winchester Unitarian Society. (Jessica Rinaldi / Globe Staff) Topic: Reporter:

Jessica Rinaldi / Globe Staff

People embraced themselves as they walked at the front of the church to peace cranes at branches in a moment of community reflection during their service to Winchester Unitarian Hang Up Society

James Herbert, president of the University of New England, said in a statement that the campus community was "shocked and saddened by Stryker's death."

"As a freshman at the UNE College of Osteopathic Medicine, Deane started on his way to becoming a doctor and was a promising student who was passionate about medicine and helped others," said Herbert.

"She was a lawyer for domestic violence and mental health awareness and an active member of the … college community," he continued. "She served as a guidance facilitator and was part of a student organization that offered confidential support to other students in need of a place to turn."

On Saturday, Marian T. Ryan, Middlesex lawyer, told Winchester resident Jeffery Yao – who had attended high school with Stryker – attacked her with a 10-inch hunting knife and injured her head and upper body with cuts and puncture wounds while studying in the city library.

Stryker was able to run from Yao to the lobby of the library while at least two other guests, including a 77-year-old man, arrested Yao until the police arrived. She was taken to a hospital, where she subsequently died.

The 77-year-old man was injured and hospitalized but should survive, Ryan said.

Yao was arrested at the scene and charged with murder and charges of armed robbery, according to Ryan. He is held without bail until his indictment, which is scheduled for Monday in the district court of Woburn.

Several Winchester residents told the Globe that Yao was in trouble and often behaved violently.

In the Unitarian Church on Sunday, the service was not about anger over violence, which appeared so close to the house, but about a shared mourning: the embrace shared by friends; the sound of slow, calm comforting words; Parents clapped their arms around the shoulders of children mourning for an early life.

Among the participants were members of the Synagogue of Stryker, who joined forces with other parishioners to light candles and hang cranes folded from small branches.

In an after-worship interview, Temple Cantor Beth Levin told reporters she was "heartbroken and soulless" and had known Stryker for about a decade.

"Deane was full of love and gentleness, and she was part of our community as a babysitter and a ghost who made everyone feel good wherever she went," Levin said.

Members of Stryker's family were also associated with the temple in the past, she said. She said that Stryker always wanted to become a doctor.

"She's just portrayed what's good in each one of us," Levin said. "Children felt it, adults felt it, they became trusted, they were responsible."

  Winchester, MA - 25.2.2018 - When the children who were present gathered at the front of the church, they were told that this is for all the people in the world who are struggling to do bad things, there are more who strive to do good, members of the Winchester Unitarian Society raised their hands to indicate that they were among those who Wanted to do good so that the children could see a room full of raised hands as they turned around. (Jessica Rinaldi / Globe Staff) Topic: Reporter:

Jessica Rinaldi / Globe Staff

Members of the Winchester Unitarian Society raised their hands to show the children present that they are among those who want to do good. [19659007] During the service, several mourners changed their memories of Stryker. One woman said that her daughter had been a close friend of Stryker, who was a loving, compassionate person and wanted to help others.

She recalled a visit during the Thanksgiving break last year when Stryker talked about the challenges she faced in her studies.

"Since she was a little girl, she was someone who had great empathy for all people, the woman said." Stryker was "committed to keeping her heart open. , , it gave me hope [medicine] that she went to work.

Another woman who took the microphone remembered knowing Stryker's parents before she was born.

"Her mother and I went on a picnic when she was a baby and she held her high and said, "She is an angel", the spokesperson recalled.

Another mourner called on the church not to dismiss and worry those who are suffering from a mental illness that those who live with such challenges are being treated unfairly.

"I'm afraid they will not be accepted and treated responsibly," said the man.

At the end of the service, Janules called on the church to have compassion on all those who suffer after Saturday's violence, and told them that they must resort to each other to try to heal each other's broken hearts.

"We will never heal from this wound," Janules said. "We will find ways to bear this with a lighter heart."

  Winchester, MA - 2/25/2018 - A makeshift memorial sits on the lawn of the Winchester Public Library as a cleaning crew cleans the area where a woman is located on February 25, 2018 in Winchester, Massachusetts, fatally injured. (Keith Bedford / Globe Staff)

Keith Bedford / Globe Staff

A makeshift memorial sits on the lawn of the Winchester Public Library as a cleaning crew steam cleans the area where Deane Stryker was fatally struck on Saturday.

Stephanie Ebbert of the Globe staff contributed to this report. Jeremy C. Fox can be reached at jeremy.fox@globe.com. John Hilliard can be reached at john.hilliard@globe.com.


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