BANGOR — Friends, colleagues and teachers of Anielka Allen gathered for a vigil Monday morning at Beal College in Bangor to remember the former student from Newport who was found dead at her home Jan. 9.

Anielka Allen Contributed photo

Newport police discovered Allen’s body after a 911 call led officers to the residence where she lived with her husband, Frederick Allen Jr., and their two children.

Frederick Allen, 40, was arrested and charged in connection with his wife’s death later the same day. He was arraigned Jan. 10 on a murder charge, and is being held without bail at the Penobscot County Jail in Bangor.

Anielka Allen, 37, who was known as Annie, was studying to be a medical assistant and needed only a few more classes to qualify for graduation, according to Robin Tardiff, director of career services for Beal.

“She was a hard worker and was just always thinking about her kids and her family,” said Tardiff, who described Allen as a sweet soul.

“She often worked more than one job at a time and was a full-time student here. But I think she enjoyed being here. She always seemed to have a positive attitude, even though it wasn’t easy for her. She was just a few classes shy of graduation and she wanted to help people.”

Steve Villette, Beal’s chief operating officer, opened Monday’s vigil by sharing his memories of Allen.

“Annie was just that type of person that everybody knew and everybody gravitated towards,” Villette said. “I saw her teaching and helping other students, being a mentor and getting along with everybody. Everybody here knew her, and I think it’s a good testament to who she was and what she meant to everybody here.”

The day of Allen’s death, a post on the school’s Facebook page described her as a “beloved student.”

“Her classmates described her as a sweet, kind and gentle woman who possessed great strength,” the post said. “She was selfless always putting others first. Her compassion and resilience led her to pursue a career in the medical field where she could use her natural ability to care for others.”

The school invited Casey Faulkingham, a representative from Partners for Peace, to lead the vigil.

Partners for Peace is a nonprofit organization that serves those affected by domestic, cultural and institutional violence.

“Domestic violence takes a lot away from us,” Faulkingham said. “Your feelings are natural and there isn’t any right or wrong way to react to something so terrible.”

Jessica Crocker, left, and Danielle Matthews cry Monday morning while speaking about their friend Anielka Allen during a vigil in Allen’s honor at Beal College in Bangor. Allen, a 37-year-old student in the medical assistant program at Beal, was found dead Jan. 9 at her Newport home.

Jessica Crocker, one of Allen’s close friends, said Allen “would’ve hated” the vigil because she was not one to “make a fuss about herself.”

“She always had a smile for everyone,” Crocker said. “She was an amazing soul. She was just trying to do better for her kids. She was a good mom, the best friend anyone could ever ask for.

“I’ve seen her help so many people, me being one of them, and you don’t find someone like that very often anymore. Not a day goes by that I don’t want to stop by her house. I keep looking for her to call me.”

To Crocker, Allen was one of a kind.

“There will never be another Annie,” Crocker said.

Casey Faulkingham of Partners for Peace, left, speaks Monday morning during a gathering of medical assistant students, right, and other friends of Anielka Allen at Beal College in Bangor. Allen, a 37-year-old student in the medical assistant program, was found dead Jan. 9 at her Newport home. About 50 people attended the vigil.

One attendee remembered when Allen helped his wife in a time of need.

“My wife had a few classes with Annie, and she was one of the biggest supporters to my wife besides the staff here,” he said. “We had recently run into some financial troubles, and my wife was sitting here in the cafe kind of breaking down, worried about how she was going to get to her next class, and Annie reached into her wallet, pulled out $20 and told my wife to use it for gas and go home and study. And it’s the fact that somebody like that could be taken from us, that’s what has hit my wife the hardest.”

Many at the vigil said they saw no signs of trouble in Allen’s home life, despite her having filed for divorce a month before her death.

The Allens, who had been married since 2000, made a joint statement Dec. 8 that pointed to irreconcilable differences as the reason for the split. They divided their assets and gave ownership of their house to Frederick Allen.

Two days later, Anielka Allen handwrote a statement retracting her agreement to the split. A week after that, she dismissed the divorce proceedings in another handwritten note, which included mention of an “agreement to attend marriage counseling to work (the) marriage out.”

The day after Allen’s death, Newport Police Chief Leonard Macdaid said officers had only been called to the residence at 16 North St., where the couple had lived since 2012, one other time for a minor disagreement.

Reggie Barnes signs a card honoring his friend Anielka Allen during a vigil Monday morning at Beal College in Bangor. Allen, a 37-year-old student in the medical assistant program, was found dead Jan. 9 at her Newport home. Barnes and others shared memories of Allen during the gathering.

Danielle Matthews, another of Anielka Allen’s close friends, said she saw Allen a week before her death.

“We had lunch just the week before and nothing was wrong,” Matthews said Monday. “It just doesn’t seem real. It’s like I’m waiting on her to walk through that door.”

Matthews said she and Allen met in July 2016 in a class at Beal College, and that their friendship blossomed quickly.

“We just clicked right away,” Matthews said. “It was a small class. It was me, Jessica and a few others who are here today and we instantly became close. We spent a lot of time together outside of school. We’d always go to lunch or get coffee.”

Matthews choked up remembering the support Allen offered her and her classmates.

“She just wanted everyone to do better,” Matthews said. “I just miss her. I could call her at any time and she was there for me no matter what. And now I don’t have that. She would’ve been standing next to me at my wedding. She did not deserve this.”

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