An art student gunned down by a mugger her first week in New York City was remembered Saturday for her spirit of independence and her vision as an artist.
Hundreds of relatives and friends gathered at Our Lady of the Holy Souls Roman Catholic Church to mourn the death of Judith Anne Wrappe, 24, who was killed early Wednesday by a robber who stole her purse as she walked home."She wanted to stand on her own," said Bishop Andrew J. McDonald during a requiem Mass. "She wanted to prove her independence. That very spirit found her on the streets of New York on the way home after finishing her part-time job earlier this week. On that street, the artist, the hard worker, died, a victim of senseless crime."
Witnesses said Wrappe, who was shot in the chest, struggled with the robber and screamed as he took her purse about 1 a.m. in the borough of Brooklyn. She was returning home after her first night at a part-time job as a waitress in Manhattan.
Police, who have made no arrests, found Wrappe's purse a couple of blocks away, with a dollar and other objects inside.
She had moved to New York a week earlier and enrolled as a graduate student at the Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, where she was seeking a master's in fine arts, and shared a dormitory apartment with three roommates.
Wrappe, of Little Rock, was a 1987 graduate of Notre Dame University.
McDonald said Wrappe's parents gave their six children space to "grow and be themselves. Judith Anne marched to a different drummer. She set standards for herself.She was not afraid to be different. Judith Anne was an artist - photography, water coloring, charcoal, painting.
"She sought new horizons in art that had no limit," McDonald said. "She could see beauty in the faces of children, old people. She could capture life's experiences in people's expressions. An artist, her vision knew no bounds."
Wrappe is survived by her parents, four brothers and a sister.