Blessed Sacrament is the same church where Lodato was a longtime parishioner and played the organ. She was also a former music teacher at the adjacent Blessed Sacrament School and Early Childhood Center.
Visitation is Friday at the church, from 5-8 p.m. A mass of Christian burial will take place for Lodato Saturday from 10-11 a.m. at the church. The internment service is private.
Lodato's obituary on the Everly-Wheatly Funeral Home Web site states:
"Beloved wife of Norman Lodato. Mother of Lucia Lodato, Gina Pelusi (Christian), and Carmen Lodato, also survived by her mother Mary Lucy Giammittorio and the late George M. Giammittorio."
Everly-Wheatly is located across the street from Blessed Sacrament.
A guestbook on the site is filled with condolences for Lodato, whose deep roots in the community are evident — from her early years as a student at St. Rita Catholic School and then-St. Mary's Academy in Alexandria, to friendships forged with fellow parents and music taught at Blessed Sacrament and Del Ray United Methodist.
Former Gov. Bob McDonnell, a classmate of Ruthanne's husband Norman at Bishop Ireton High School, left this message:
"Normy, all your old Ireton friends are deeply saddened by the tragic loss of Ruthanne. There are events in life that defy logic and reflect evil. You had a beautiful and talented partner who gave the gift of music to countless people and was greatly loved. The pain that you and your three children must feel is great. I have prayed for you and your family that God will somehow touch you and comfort you with his abundant grace and healing touch as human words are totally inadequate. All of your friends from Ireton are here to love and support you in any way if you need us. Holding you up in God's mercy. Your friend. Bob McDonnell."
Family friend John Kelly read a statement Friday from her family: "She was our family rock. We will not be the same without her. Ruthanne enjoyed teaching countless children in the last 40 years."
Lodato taught music to children at Blessed Sacrament, where principal Valerie Garcia told WUSA-9: "Our hearts are broken. Ruthanne is the gentlest, kindest and most peaceful person you'll ever meet. She was full of life and music. She was a beautiful person."
On Monday night, many of Lodato's neighbors, more than 100 members of the North Ridge Citizens' Association met with Alexandria Police Chief Earl Cook and Mayor Bill Euille, at the Beverley Hills Community United Methodist Church. Some of the questions that came up at the meeting, according to WNEW, included: Why did police lift the school lockdown while the gunman was on the loose? The lockdown for Alexandria City Public Schools was lifted at 1:45 p.m. Thursday.
Cook said that decision will be reviewed. Others asked if the gun used was the same used in the unsolved Ron Kirby shooting in November and if the gunman on Thursday had said anything. Cook refrained from answering the questions.
Also, Cook said that police may release another sketch of the suspected shooter showing him without a beard, in case he has altered his appearance.
Fox 5 reported that the front door to the Lodato home is gone, taken away as possible evidence.
The case is making national and even international headlines on ABC News World News Tonight, the New York Daily News, the Huffington Post and The Daily Mail, a London newspaper.
- Alexandria Resident Ruthanne Lodato Killed in Shooting Thursday
- Shooting Victim Ruthanne Lodato was Mother of 3, Music Teacher
- Ruthanne Lodato Homicide: Alexandria Police Chief, Mayor Attempt to Reassure Community
- Alexandria Police Release Sketch of Suspected Shooter in Lodato Murder
- FBI Now Part of Lodato Homicide Investigation
The Alexandria Police Department will keep the public informed as the investigation progresses. To report any suspicious activity, call (703) 746-4444.