1,500 attend memorial service; Gengels honor daughter, other quake victims.

Byline: Scott Travis

BOCA RATON, Fla. - They were remembered as people who died doing what they loved: helping those who were less fortunate.

About 1,500 people attended the memorial service yesterday for the four Lynn University students and two professors who died in the Haiti earthquake.

They were: Britney Gengel, 19, of Rutland, Mass.; Stephanie Crispinelli, 19, of Katonah, N.Y.; Courtney Hayes, 23, of Douglas, Ga.; Christine Gianacaci, 22, of Hopewell, N.J.; Patrick Hartwick, 53, dean of the Ross College of Education; and Richard Bruno, 59, an assistant professor.

They were part of a group of 14 staying in the Hotel Montana in Port-Au-Prince, which collapsed during the Jan. 12 earthquake. Eight Lynn students were outside the hotel and survived. The group was in Haiti assisting Food for the Poor, a Coconut Creek-based charity.

"They spent their last hours on Earth serving one of the poorest nations in the world, and now they are smiling down on us from the land of riches above," Lynn President Kevin Ross said, his voice breaking. "They have earned their place in heaven, and in all of our hearts."

In the memorial, held exactly two months after the earthquake, the lives of the six were celebrated through songs, prayers, a video montage and the words of those who knew them best.

"These six people were living their lives to the fullest, with meaning and purpose," said P.J. Tyska, one of the eight students who survived. "They gave their lives doing what they loved and believed in. In giving hope to others, they make hope possible to all us."

Gengel's father, Leonard Gengel, asked those in attendance to remember the six when they go through milestones in their own lives.

"Remember our daughters and dads when one of your family members passed. They will be there to comfort them in heaven and you on Earth," Mr. Gengel said. "Remember our daughters when you have lived a full life and are ready to join them in heaven. They will be there waiting for you with open arms."

Cynthia Patterson, vice president for academic affairs, remembered her two colleagues as courageous leaders who loved their school, family and their work in impoverished countries.

They lived lives of faith and service and hope," she said. "They were loved, because they loved. May their grace continue to bless us all."

Cherylann Gengel talked with her daughter just a few hours before the earthquake. Britney said the Haiti trip was a life-changing experience for her.

"She said, `I...

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