Spicy, fearless, kind, great, a powerhouse and unstoppable were
just a few of the adjectives people used to describe Magali
Padilla.

The LSA junior and her mother died in a car accident in June
while drivng to visit relatives in Jalisco, Mexico.

A memorial service for Padilla was held at Nichols Arboretum
yesterday. More than 50 of Padilla’s friends, family,
classmates and advisors spoke about the junior at the event, amidst
ceremonial smoke and chirping birds.

Friends gathered in a semi-circle around a small photo collage,
behind which Abbott performed a ceremony.

Visitors recalled Padilla’s enthusiasm for issues close to
her heart such as the environment and the Latino community. Her
passion for such things was always discussed whether it was in
class, at student meetings or even over dinner, friends said.

“I’m very humbled to be here,” said Steven
Abbott, an advisor to Padilla and the memorial service’s
leader.

“Our prayers go out for this energetic, intelligent,
passionate human being that has left us,” said
Padilla’s friend Elizabeth Delgado, in an e-mail.

Padilla’s fervor for involvement at the University led her
to do many things, including assisting in the effort to keep the
crisis line running for the Universty’s Sexual Assault
Prevention and Awareness Center.

She also tried to help fill the position of Latino coordinator
at the Multi-Ethnic Student Affairs office when the University
failed to report that an opening was available.

“Magali was driven by a compulsion to make the world free
of hate and fear. She had a vision for the beauty of things and
therefore fought for them,” said LSA senior Pete Woiwok.

“Anytime she saw someone struggle you see her soul well-up
and take it on her shoulders. She wanted to spread love,”
Woiwok said.

The news of her passing surprised many. “It’s always
shocking and tragic when someone with so much potential goes
unexpectedly,” said Abbott.

Padilla’s funeral was on June 25 in Jalisco, Mexico. She
is survived by her brother Ramiro, 22, sister Chiquis, 10 and her
father Ramiro Padilla.

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