Obituary: Stephanie Ross / Drexel student from Upper St. Clair

Died March 10, 2014

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Family, friends and teachers of a Drexel University student who died Monday of a suspected meningitis case remembered the Upper St. Clair native as a vibrant young woman and a bright, passionate student.

Stephanie Ross, 19, of Upper St. Clair was found unresponsive Monday by housemates at the Phi Mu (Beta Tau) sorority house in Philadelphia and taken to Penn Presbyterian Medical Center, authorities said.

"To say you will be missed is an understatement," wrote Peggy Papathomas, who described herself as Ms. Ross' best friend, Tuesday on Facebook.

Upper St. Clair superintendent Patrick O'Toole said in a statement Tuesday that Ms. Ross' death "has deeply saddened our school community."

"Stephanie was an outstanding young woman who exemplified the values we have for students at Upper St. Clair in terms of academics, extra-curricular activities and community involvement," he said.

A sophomore mechanical engineering student at Drexel, Ms. Ross was a National Merit scholar, softball player and volunteer while at Upper St. Clair, where she graduated in 2012.

Upper St. Clair advanced placement physics and mechanics teacher Clay Yonker called Ms. Ross a talented student.

Another teacher, Kevin Coffman, said Ms. Ross was "the kind of student you will never forget."

Ms. Ross' official cause of death is pending lab test results.

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