Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Roselle M. Hoffmaster dies 'of injuries sustained from a non-combat related incident'

Roselle Hoffmaster, a graduate of Smith College who died while serving in the Army in Iraq, is being remembered fondly today at the Northampton institution.

"You couldn't find a more caring or compassionate person. She's a giver. She's the ultimate team person who gave her all," said Carla Coffey, who coached Hoffmaster in cross country and track and field.

Hoffmaster, 32, an Army captain, died last Friday in Kirkuk of non-combat-related causes. She was the First Brigade Combat Team surgeon, the military said this weekend in a release from Fort Drum, N.Y.

Hoffmaster, a native of Cleveland, graduated from Smith with a biochemistry degree in 1998.

She was commissioned into the Army Medical Corps in 2004. She was assigned to the Tenth Mountain Division in July and deployed to Iraq this month.

She is survived by her husband and parents, the Army said in a statement.

The Army has released no further details on the circumstances of her death. The investigation is still ongoing, said Fort Drum spokesman Benjamin Abel.

Professor Christine White-Ziegler said Hoffmaster was "a real star, just off the charts in terms of her academics."

"She was just a very easygoing and approachable person. ... You could see her concern for others," she said.

"It's very sad for the whole Smith community. We're very saddened by her death," said Coffey, the coach.

From the Boston Globe