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Judith Manzo

North Providence, R.I.

Long distance for Judith Manzo and her sister, Karen Brown, was a 10-mile drive between each other's homes in North Providence, R.I.

Manzo, 37, was the mother of two: Brianna, 10, and Anthony, 12. She made a delicious macaroni and meatballs dish for Brianna, sat down with Brown every other week to style her sister's nails, and was unafraid of saying "I love you" at the end of a telephone conversation.

Brown heard it almost every day, because there weren't too many when the two sisters didn't talk.

Manzo called her sister Thursday night before leaving with a friend to the Great White concert in West Warwick.

"She had probably been to a club five or six times in her life," Brown said. "It was a fluky thing that she was going."

Brown described her sister as someone who "lived for her children." When she divorced her husband, Anthony, 10 years ago, they arranged to share the same house in North Providence. Judith lived on the second floor with her children while Anthony lived on the first.

Eight months ago, she started working. And the change from being an at-home mother energized her.

"She was very excited when she got the job," said Brown of the secretarial position Manzo held in the local branch of First Choice Medical Staffing. "She felt great about herself."