WORCESTER (CBS) — A wake for the Holy Cross rower who was killed in a car crash in Florida was held Tuesday. Grace Rett was 20 years old.
The Uxbridge native died after a van carrying her rowing team collided with a pickup truck in Vero Beach on Jan. 15. Eleven others were injured, five remain hospitalized.
“She was just a great person, she had just a positive impact on everyone that was around her,” said friend Alex Rechen. “I can’t imagine what her family is going through.”
Meghan Reuter, the Holy Cross men’s rowing strength coach added, “I feel like she was such a positive impact that I am so lucky to have known her, everybody else is so lucky to have known her…She was probably one of the hardest working female athletes I’ve ever met. She had this fire and dedication in her.”
The line outside St. Mary’s Tuesday night in Uxbridge included youngsters Rett coached.
“She just wanted us to do our best even if we weren’t the fastest in the group, which I wasn’t,” said 14-year-old Gia Madaio, who had Rett as a track coach. “She was just amazing and everyone that she encountered, she inspired them and helped them in some way shape or form.”
According to her obituary, Rett was an incredibly active member of her school communities at Our Lady of the Valley Regional School, Marianapolis Preparatory School, and Holy Cross.
She was an example to others around her because “she worked hard and took advantage of every opportunity afforded to her.”
In December, Rett set the Indoor World Rowing record when she completed 62 hours and three seconds of continuous indoor rowing.
A funeral Mass will be held Wednesday at 10 a.m. at St. Mary’s Church.
Anyone looking to attend the funeral can come wearing the school or team colors or uniforms that they shared with Rett. “She would want all who attend to be comfortable and spirited.”
The family also asked in lieu of flowers to consider donating to Golden Opportunities for Independence, an organization that trains service dogs.
Last week, Rett’s sister Brianne shared a statement about her sister. “Grace will always be in the hearts of everyone she knew,” she said.