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Austin Cloyd, an international studies major from Blacksburg, Virginia, was so inspired by an Appalachian service project that helped rehabilitate homes that she and her mother started a similar program in their Illinois town, her former pastor said.
The Cloyds were active members of the First United Methodist Church in Champaign, Illinois, before moving to Blacksburg in 2005, the Rev. Terry Harter told the AP. The family moved when Cloyd's father, C. Bryan Cloyd, took a job in the accounting department at Virginia Tech, Harter said. Harter, whose church held a prayer service for the family Tuesday night, described Cloyd as a "very delightful, intelligent, warm young lady" and an athlete who played basketball and volleyball in high school. But it was the mission trips to Appalachia that showed just how caring and faithful she was, he said. "It made an important impact on her life, that's the kind of person she was," he said.