The Catholic community in Albuquerque is mourning the death of Jennifer Riordan, who tragically lost her life in a tragic accident that forced Southwest Airlines Flight 1380 to do an emergency landing last April 17.
Church members, led by Santa Fe Archbishop John C. Wester from the Our Lady of the Annunciation Catholic Church, offered prayers for the family of the 43-year-old mother of two the day after her death was confirmed. The Annunciation School, which her kids attended, also posted a message to remember Riordan and console her loved-ones.
"[Riordan] volunteered in many ways. including serving on our Consultative Council," the statement posted on the school's Facebook page read. "She was seen on campus almost daily supporting her beautiful children. She provided encouragement to everyone with whom she came in contact. Her positive motivating spirit will be missed," it added.
Growing up in Vermont, Riordan went to the Christ the King Elementary School and the Colchester High School, where she met her husband. The couple moved to Albuquerque nearly two decades ago to start a life and build a family together. Blessed with two children, Riordan also had a good career as the vice president for Wells Fargo in her city.
In 2015, Samaritan Counseling Ethics bestowed Riordan the Bill Daniels Award for Ethical Young Leadership, according to reports. The mom also served on the board of The Catholic Foundation, a nonprofit that ties donors to different schools or parishes.
The foundation's president Ed Larranaga recalled that Riordan once shared that it was Catholic education that saved her life. She used to be a part of a group that went a different path, but her mother made a good call to send her to a Catholic school.
"Jennifer wanted to do things to make a difference, not just at work and in the community, but just in general," Larranaga stated. "She wanted to make things better," he went on to say.
On Sunday, family and friends gathered to pay their final respects to Riordan. She died of her injuries from the plane that sucked part of her body as the window she sat next to opened in mid-air when the engines exploded.