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The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

Classmates, instructors remember slain NE student

Reece Wright, Matt Ferrer and Joseph Zubillaga attend a candlelight service remembering Nona Yazdanpanah and her family who were killed in a Christmas Day murder-suicide in Grapevine.
Darrell Byers / Reuters
Reece Wright, Matt Ferrer and Joseph Zubillaga attend a candlelight service remembering Nona Yazdanpanah and her family who were killed in a Christmas Day murder-suicide in Grapevine. Darrell Byers / Reuters

A NE student killed over winter break was called one of the sweetest people in the world by those that knew her.

Nona Yazdanpanah
Darrell Byers / Reuters

Shortly after opening presents Christmas morning, Nona Yazdanpanah’s father, Aziz, walked into his estranged wife’s apartment in Grapevine dressed as Santa Claus and killed Nona, along with her mother, brother, aunt, uncle and cousin, police said. Aziz Yazdanpanah then killed himself.

Allison Baum was a TCC student last semester before transferring to the Salon Professional Academy in Gainesville, Fla. She’d known Nona Yazdanpanah for 14 years and carpooled with her throughout their junior and senior years of high school.

“It’s been really hard, the way that it all happened,” Baum said. “My family had a hard time coping with the fact that her dad did it. We knew him as a loving father and a good neighbor. Every time I saw him in the front yard doing lawn work, he smiled and waved.”

Having lived in the same Colleyville neighborhood as the Yazdanpanah family, Baum knew Nona as a kind person.

“She was very nice. She’s always kind. She never made fun of anyone,” Baum said. “If I ever tried to say something bad about someone, she’d stop me and say, ‘Allison, don’t say that!’”

Student Andrea Bolivar said Nona helped her through her first semester at TCC, even though Nona was still a high school student.

“She was taking dual credit, but over here [NE Campus] they just let her into the [ENGL] 1301

Reece Wright, Matt Ferrer and Joseph Zubillaga attend a candlelight service remembering Nona Yazdanpanah and her family who were killed in a Christmas Day murder-suicide in Grapevine.
Darrell Byers / Reuters

class,” Bolivar said. “She was genuinely one of the sweetest people you would meet. She’d smile at you if she didn’t know you. I remember she would sit in the hallways and help out the people who didn’t know what was going on.”

Yazdanpanah also impressed her instructors. Deb Armstrong taught her Composition II last fall and remembered Yazdanpanah standing out.

“I think I had 165 students last semester, and she was one of the first students whose name I learned,” Armstrong said. “It was the smile. You call roll two times and then you go to the next class and the next class, and it takes a while to learn their names, but you see that smile twice…”

Her professional communications teacher, Adrianne Kincade, felt that Yazdanpanah’s loss would have a tangible effect on her chosen profession.

“She had dreamed of becoming a lawyer,” Kincade said. “This semester, she had interviewed a lawyer for an assignment and done such a wonderful job that the person she interviewed had offered her the opportunity to come back for a potential internship in the hopes of her continuing there during her education.”

Lauren Cave, also a TCC student, worked with Yazdanpanah at Piccomolo in Colleyville and said she wouldn’t have done well without Yazdanpanah.

“She was the sweetest girl I’ve ever worked with,” Cave said. “She taught me everything over there. It was the weirdest thing when I read that in the paper. She was the last person I thought that would have happened to.”

Through loss, Baum knows that life goes on.

“It’s been a tough one, but we’re all coping with it,” she said.

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