UWS students seek to honor murdered alumaeUW-Superior art students are raising money to buy and plant a tree on campus to honor April Oles Madgzas, a UWS graduate and the victim of a homicide last month.
By: Laura Podgornik, Wisconsin Public Radio, Superior Telegram
April Oles Madgzas kept to herself but it was always apparent to classmate Breanna Foro that she was a loving mother.
“She had brought in her daughter in one time into class and just showed a lot of love for her family, really dedicated to school and just a really great, humble person.”
Oles graduated from UWS in the spring with a degree in art therapy. She was eight and half months pregnant when her body was discovered along with her one-year-old daughter at the home of her husband Matthew Madgzas. Police say Matthew Madgzas killed them and then himself Aug. 17.
Now, Foro and others are hoping to plant a tree in Oles’ honor.
“I would hope that it would be important to the students that knew April very well as well as the faculty. I do think that it’s a memorial in honor of her but I also think it’s a way for students to heal because our plans are to tie ribbons onto the tree with messages,” she said.
Foro remembers Oles as hard-working student.
“I know that she painted a lot. She was very much a knitter. She liked to knit,” she said.
Foro says they want to keep the ceremony for the tree within the campus community.
“April was a very personal person herself. She was very quiet and we want to keep it more private it and personal for everyone so we’ve just invited the faculty and students at UWS. We just think that would be more respectful for her and her family.”
Money is still being raised for the tree and a date has not yet been set for the planting ceremony at UWS. Foro is asking the Oles’ family if they can place a plaque next to the tree with her name on it.