Remembering Xavia Pirozzi, Class of 2014
When sophomore Xavia Pirozzi gained her wings on Wednesday, March 21, the JC community became closer as a family.
After losing her six month battle to lymphoma, Pirozzi became John Carroll’s guardian angel. Her classmates, as well as students from other grades and faculty, came together to support the Pirozzis.
Her classmates reflected on their favorite moments with Pirozzi. “One time at lunch, we were all talking about Homecoming since it was coming up. I had asked Xavia what her dress looked like, and she looked so happy as she described it to us. I was glad I could share [Homecoming] with her,” sophomore Brynly Wilson said.
“I first met Xavia in Mr. Baran’s Intro to Drawing and Painting class and we shared a little cubby for our art supplies. We just started talking to each other and started to get to know each other a little more every time we met in that class. She had a sweet personality. She never said anything mean to anyone else,” sophomore Christy Kim said.
Sophomore Kayla Bynion was also a close friend to Pirozzi. “Even though I only knew Xavia for a short time, she changed my life forever. There will always be a special place in my heart for her,” Bynion said.
Her classmates weren’t the only ones who remember Pirozzi. The whole student body incorporated the color purple into their uniforms to remember her on Thursday, March 22 and Friday, March 23.
Freshman Amanda Brannan helped spread the word about wearing purple for Pirozzi and posted campus minister Patti Murphy Dohn’s guidlines. “I posted [the guidelines] on the Facebook event called ‘Wear Purple for Xavia.’ I wanted to make sure that everyone at JC knew about it. It was really cool to see how in just a couple hours more than 300 JC students knew about the event,” Brannan said.
JC and St. Joseph School in Fullerton, Pirozzi’s former school, also pulled together to make 1,000 cranes for Pirozzi to symbolize hope. “[My mom and I] got the cranes done on Tuesday the night before she passed and they were blessed that Wednesday at school mass,” freshman Emily Meyerl said.
English teacher Celeste Smith and Pirozzi’s advisory “prayed for [Pirozzi] often” and even “sent cards and a gift at Christmas.” Since she was not really in school this year, “we were remembering her from last year, but we miss her,” Smith said.
Pirozzi’s English teacher Dick Paaby had Pirozzi in class for “less than six weeks,” but he got the chance to determine that “she was confident, mature, and academically minded.”
“Xavia was trying to be low-key. She didn’t want to give anyone a reason to feel sorry for her and get special attention, and she didn’t get it from me because that’s what she wanted,” Paaby said.
Even though she did not want attention, Pirozzi became an inspiration to the school community. “As I shared in prayer last week, there are times when school is family. Journeying with Xavia last week was one of the best examples I have ever witnessed in over 30 years where, indeed, school is family,” Murphy Dohn said.
Sarah Kearby is a Lifestyles Editor for The Patriot and jcpatriot.com.