Jeannette Faurot, Karen Stolz, Nicole Domingue.
Fio met Jeannette through church, but bonded with her over academics. She was a Chinese scholar, and Fio thinks Jeannette would be happy to know that Fio can now reel off a few Mandarin words and phrases.
Karen, whom Fio met while they were both teaching at Austin community college, wrote one novel that sold well and one that didn't, then died too soon. Fio hopes she's looking down from her celestial heights and blessing Fio's own road to publication.
Nicole and Fio, as she's told you, met in graduate school. They shared not only an interest in linguistics and a love for music, but an appreciation of each other and a totally irreverent view of the world.
Requiescat in pacem, meae amicae.