Jillian Tatro's friends Tara Vallieres and Kristen McClain and cousin Aaron Volpi speak about losing her at Tuesday's vigil.
NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — Jillian Tatro was any number of things: friend, mother and grandmother, skilled outdoorswoman, hunter, equestrian, lover of animals.
But last month she joined another list: local women who have died from domestic violence.
"I've known Jillian since she was about 20 years old," said Elizabeth Mitchell of the Elizabeth Freeman Center. "She was a mom, a grandmother, a daughter, granddaughter, a sister and a niece and a friend. Jillian was also a wife who was brutally murdered by her husband. ...
"I have known her to be very hard-working woman who just wanted a good life. She was in search of someone to love her. ... He robbed her of her good life."
Nearly 70 people gathered at City Hall on Tuesday evening to remember Tatro, who was murdered on May 28. Her husband, Luis Rosado, was arrested four days later and charged with homicide.
Family and friends remembered the vibrant 38-year-old and one friend sang a song for her.
"She was fun, caring, loving, always wanted to go out. She always got me out of my comfort zone," said Tara Vallieres, wiping away tears.
Vallieres and Kristen McClain said they'd known Tatro since high school and, with her cousin Erin Volpe, had been close friends.
She and McClain didn't attend school together but "we found each other," McClain said, bonding over their love of horses. "I still pick up the phone to call her about whatever's going on in my life."
Volpi had run into his cousin a few days before her death. He was getting a new truck and they talked about going for a ride together.
"My birthday was the 21st so she died right after my birthday," he said. "It's something I'm not going to ever forget."
Vallieres said Tatro was her "fun friend," always pushing her try to something new like wearing polka dots or taking her hiking and identifying animal tracks or bringing her up to her bear stand.
"She was an amazing woman, a great friend to have," said Vallieres. "She loved her kids. Her family, her grandchild, her dogs. She had so many dogs but they were all very close to her."
The gathering held a moment of silence for Tatro and Mitchell read off the names of those lost to domestic violence: Michelle Padgett Townsend, the Rev. Esther Dozier, Donna Agar, Julie Shade, Rebecca Moulton, Halena Irene Gill, Shayley Estes, Joanne Ringer, Justine Wilbur and her young children Alex and Zoe Karpinski, Charli Cook, Christa Steele-Knudslien and Tatro.
Carnations were handed at the start of the event and a number of people held purple hearts with the names of victims on them.
"Just here in Berkshire County since 2006, at least 14 women and three children have been murdered by those who once said they loved them," said Janice Broderick, director of the Freeman Center. "And for every one of these names here that we are honoring tonight, we know that there are hundreds of people in their homes in terror and suffering harm right here right now. It has to stop and it could be stopped."
It won't stop until the scourge of domestic violence is made a priority, she said. "We need to be asking the right questions, stop blaming victims and hold abusers accountable. We need to act and we can all play a part in this."
Broderick pointed to two ways that could happen — call the center and share it's number to anyone who may need help and to pressure lawmakers to support victim services. One bill would recognize "coercive control," the use of intimidation, harassment, threats, isolation and controlling activities in domestic violence, and the other is the budget to ensure that services like those through the Freeman Center are funded.
"We should not have to live this way. We should not die this way," said Broderick. "We deserve safety and justice demand change."
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