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"She gave it her all:" Wisconsin Lutheran College remembers freshman found dead in dorm room

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MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- A memorial service was held Thursday at Wisconsin Lutheran College for a freshman girl who died over the weekend.

Aliya Hesseltine was 19.

It was clear from the service that Hesseltine made a major impact on the people around her in her few months on campus.

She was a softball player and Coach Bill Curtis said he felt a connection with Hesseltine early on.

“She had a special feel for who we are,” he said. “We’re a Christian college and we could sense right away that was important to her, and therefore, it’s important to us.”

Aliya’s parents drove more than five hours from Iowa to be at the service.

Curtis shared an emotional embrace with them after he spoke.

“Every time we met Aliya during the recruiting process we met her parents,” he said. “It’s one family. The family becomes a part of our team.”

Hesseltine was found dead in her dorm room Sunday.

She was diabetic, and the medical examiner’s report said Hesseltine was “not compliant with her diabetic care.”

The death is not believed to be related to drugs or alcohol.

“She gave it her all and she always came to practice happy, smiling, no matter what was going on that day,” said Breanna Johnson, WLC’s softball team captain.

Dr. Daniel Johnson, WLC’s president, said even as the campus community questions God’s plan, they’re clinging to their faith in Christ to guide them through this tragedy.

“This is not how we thought this was supposed to be,” he said.

The team plans to commemorate Hesseltine during the upcoming season.

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