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Slain Arizona Professors Mourned

November 3, 2002

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TUCSON, Ariz. (AP) _ Family, friends, colleagues and students on Saturday mourned two of three nursing professors slain by a student, including an instructor who studied the relationship between health and spirituality.

``We all feel robbed by her death, thinking of what might have been with Cheryl’s continuing ministry,″ the Rev. John Smith said at the funeral service for Cheryl Mallernee McGaffic, 44, a clinical associate professor at the University of Arizona College of Nursing.

Smith, rector of St. Michael & All Angels Episcopal Church, said McGaffic ``sees the big picture clearer now more than ever ... what good Cheryl can do now more than ever. Stay tuned.″

Several hours later, more than 400 people _ including many who’d attended the morning service _ packed into Grace St. Paul’s Episcopal Church for an upbeat memorial service commemorating the life of Barbara Monroe.

Monroe, 45, a clinical assistant professor, was gunned down with McGaffic on Monday in a classroom where both were administering a midterm exam. Robin Rogers, 50, also a clinical assistant professor, was shot to death first in her office.

One of Monroe’s nursing colleagues called her ``the epitome of professionalism″ who had ``tipped over the flame of Florence Nightingale on every nurse″ she taught.

Twice in the service for Monroe, the Rev. Gordon McBride, rector at Grace St. Paul’s and a second cousin by marriage to the murdered woman, alluded to the ``outrageous″ deaths the women suffered.

``It’s probably good that the perpetrator turned the gun on himself,″ McBride said.

They women were shot by Robert S. Flores Jr., a 41-year-old nursing student who was failing out of school. Flores, a practical nurse and divorced Gulf War veteran, killed himself after shooting the teachers.

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