Family and friends gather to remember a young woman who died while hiking in Italy
Chelsea Rebecca Alvarez, 24, is seen in this undated photograph.
Jennifer Wagner, CTV Kitchener
Published Thursday, January 12, 2017 10:26PM EST
Hundreds of mourners gathered Thursday to remember Chelsea Alvarez, the 24-year-old Waterloo engineer who fell to her death on New Year’s Day while on a hike with family in northern Italy.
Alvarez is remembered as an intelligent, hard-working and caring person who will be missed by many.
“Very adventurous, always loved to do new things, she was just a great person to be around,” said former soccer teammate Lindsay Snider.
Alvarez was living in Italy with her finacé Colin Behenna, a player in the Alps Hockey League. Behenna used to play for the Barrie Colts of the OHL, and the University of Waterloo.
Earlier this year Behenna spoke with CTV about their move to Italy.
"It’s something we always wanted to do. It’s kind of a big life experience for us, moving forward to live in a new country."
The two were planning to get married in the summer of 2018.
In 2015 Alvarez graduated from the mechanical systems engineering program at Conestoga College.
Before leaving for Italy she worked at Trade-Mark Industrial as a project manager.
Her former college instructor Martin Hare remembers her as a happy student.
“Always had a huge smile on her face. I never ever saw down. Always had a smile,” he said.
Alvarez was an accomplished hockey and soccer player who loved the outdoors.
Her family has created the Chelsea Alvarez Memorial Award at Conestoga College. The annual award will go to an engineering student who demonstrates compassion, athleticism and commitment to using an engineering background in a business environment.
A funeral mass will take place Saturday at St. Agnes Roman Catholic Church in Waterloo.
With reporting by Tyler Calver