From her good deeds to Alexandria and her community, Ruthanne Lodato was honored on Monday night through emotional moments with the family receiving the honors on her behalf.
Her husband Norman, and daughter, Lucia, put on black with white flowers on their lapels while accepting an award to celebrate the beloved music teacher’s life and devotion to children, the arts, and cultural affairs.
Lucia said that music was truly her gift to the girls and young women of their Alexandria community. She added that in the past several weeks, her family heard from countless students both near and far who took piano lessons from her mother during the last 30 or more years she has been teaching.
Lucia recognized that her mother inspired a career in some, while for others it was a lifelong appreciation of music or just the simple acknowledgement that practice made perfect.
Although they shared their heartfelt gratitude with mourners for the community support, Lodato family turned away interview requests during the event.
Lodato’s daughter told the crowd that she thought the best way to honor her mother was to keep alive in their own homes and heart, and hoped that all would join her in doing that for her.
The family was earlier presented with a resolution from state legislators honoring Lodato.
According to event organizers, Lodato, the music teacher, and founder of Music Together Alexandria, not only taught children of all ages the joy of music, but also inspired and assisted young women.
Camille Leverett of the Alexadria Commission for Women said that there was an example in the application about a young lady that was faced with learning a difficult piece of music and Ruthanne encouraged her to learn it and it gave her the confidence and infused in other areas of her life.
Earl Cook, Alexandria’s police chief, was also in the crowd.
The Chief Cook said that it was wonderful that they decided to do it, adding that he thought it was not just because of the tragedy. He added that it was the things she gave all her life to that city and the imprints she made on that community.
Chief Cook also said that as the crowd honors Lodato, he hoped that they would also remain vigilant about sharing tips as police carry on with investigation.
Indicating that they were at the beginning of their investigation, Cook said that there are still a lot of things they have to do, work they needed to be done, to determine whether or not they have someone to charge with an offense.
Saying that he was optimistic about those cases, Chief Cook said that his department will persevere to make sure that they will be able to charge someone.