BOSTON -- Krystle Campbell was killed on her favorite day, the city's annual marathon.
Campbell, 29, always attended the race, relishing the throngs of humanity because she "loved people," her grandmother Lillian Campbell said.
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"Ever since she was a little girl, it was her favorite day," the grandmother said. "The marathon was her favorite day because she met so many nice people. She loved people. She was so joyful."
Her granddaughter, a manager trainee at a steakhouse chain, was identified Tuesday as one of three people killed Monday when two bombs exploded near the finish line. Campbell, of Medford, Mass., had worked as a waitress and was moving up in the restaurant business.
She had gone to the race with a friend to cheer on her friend's boyfriend, said her father, William Campbell. After the bombing, he and his wife, Patricia, raced to Massachusetts General Hospital, thinking their daughter was alive in an operating room, he said.
But when doctors took Campbell to see the patient he thought was his daughter, he found his daughter's friend.
"That's not my daughter," Campbell told them. "Where's my daughter?"
Shortly after, a detective came with a photo of Krystle and told them she had died, the family said.
That was a moment of extreme grief that Patricia Campbell could barely speak of Tuesday during the family's news conference in front of their Medford home.
"We are heartbroken at the death of our Krystle," said her mother, sobbing and struggling to get the words out. "She was a wonderful person and everyone who knew her loved her.
"She was always smiling. You couldn't ask for a better daughter."
By several accounts, her daughter cared about people, whether it was at work or home.
Not long ago, she lived with her grandmother to look after her. "She took care of me for a long time after I had an operation, because that's the kind of girl she was," Lillian Campbell said. "She helped her friends and family. And she made everyone's life easier and happier."
That was also the way Rose Curmier remembers her. As the hostess at Jimmy's Steer House, a busy restaurant outside Boston, Curmier early this year helped train Campbell to be a manager.
"She knew the business and had worked in other restaurants before," Curmier said. "We knew she wouldn't stay very long because she was a fast learner and a hard worker.
"The food comes out really fast, and the staff needed some help sometimes, and she would run the food, clean the tables. She was very, very well liked. I'm sad that this happened to her, because she was a good worker and she was going on to places."
The Summer Shack, a seafood and hot dog eatery where Campbell used to work, posted a statement on its Facebook page, saying it was "devastated by the loss of our beloved Krystle."
Kelly Dunham, who identified herself as a neighbor and friend of Campbell, said she will be "forever missed." No one was like Krystle, she said. "She was an angel on Earth."
With Gary Dymski