Slain music teacher Ruthanne Lodato honored by Alexandria commun - DC News FOX 5 DC WTTG

Slain music teacher Ruthanne Lodato honored by Alexandria community

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Ruthanne Lodato (Family photo) Ruthanne Lodato (Family photo)

Ruthanne Lodato certainly made her mark on Alexandria and her community honored her and her accomplishments on Monday night. The moments were made all the more emotional as her family accepted the honors on her behalf.

Wearing black with white flowers on their lapels, Lodato's husband, Norman, and daughter, Lucia, accepted an award celebrating the beloved music teacher's life and devotion to children, cultural affairs and the arts.

“Music was truly her gift to the girls and young women of our Alexandria community,” said Lucia. “In the past several weeks, my family has heard from countless students near and far who took piano lessons from my mother at some point over the last 30-plus years.”

“For some, she inspired a career as a musician, while for others, it was a lifelong appreciation of music or just the simple acknowledgement that practice really does make perfect.”

The Lodato family declined interview requests at this event, but shared their heartfelt gratitude with the crowd for the community support.

“I think the best way to honor my mother is to keep music alive in our own homes and heart, and I hope you will join me in doing that for her,” Lodato's daughter said.

Earlier, the family was also presented with a resolution from state legislators honoring Lodato.

Event organizers said the music teacher and founder of Music Together Alexandria not only taught children of all ages the joy of music, but really inspired and helped young women.

“There was an example in the application about a young lady that was faced with learning a difficult piece of music and how Ruthanne encouraged her to learn it and it gave her the confidence and it permeated into other parts of her life,” said Camille Leverett of the Alexandria Commission for Women.

Also among the crowd was Earl Cook, Alexandria's police chief.

“I think it is a wonderful thing that they decided to do this,” said Chief Cook. “I don’t think [it’s] just because of the tragedy. It’s the things she’s given all of her life to this city and the imprint she’s made on this community.”

As the community honors Lodato, Chief Cook said he hopes they also remain vigilant about passing on tips as police continue their investigation.

“We are still, for us, at the beginning of our investigation,” he said. “There are still a lot of things we have to do, work we need to do, to determine whether or not we indeed have a person we can charge with an offense.”

Chief Cook said he remains optimistic about these cases and his department will persevere until they are able to charge someone.

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