"She was a little worried about crime around here, being out on that busy street all day. She had the riskiest corner, but she loved her job," Tracy Tucker said. "She never missed a day because of weather, even when she had to be out there in double rain gear."
Catherine Tucker worked for many years as a baby-sitter while raising her seven children. She began working as a crossing guard about six years ago because she loved children, Tracy Tucker said.
And after guiding youngsters across busy streets all day, she often came home to look after one or more of her seven grandchildren, Tracy Tucker said.
Everyone called her "Grandma Cathy," Tracy Tucker said. There are two more grandchildren on the way.
"She took care of all of us, right up until today," said a nephew.
Bringing up seven children alone was not easy, said George Tucker, 23, one of Tucker's five sons. In lean times, Tucker's children found jobs to help support the family, but mostly they looked to their mother, he said.
"It was a struggle. But whatever we needed, even if it broke her back, she would get it for us," George Tucker said.
Often, the boys were in one kind of trouble or another, George Tucker said. Catherine Tucker did the best she could with discipline, her son remembered.
"She would always tell us she wouldn't be here forever, and what would we do when she was gone?" George Tucker said.
Tucker also is survived by another daughter, Pam Penrod, 28, and four other sons, Timothy, 26; Andy, 24; Reggie, 19, and Lenny, 16.
Times staff writers David Ferrell, Howard Blume and Tina Griego contributed to this story.
School crossing guard Catherine Tucker, 46, was kidnaped from her post outside Lafayette Elementary School in Long Beach about 7 a.m. Monday by suspects who commandeered her 1981 Pontiac, police said. She was found shot to death in the trunk of the car five hours later near Long Beach Airport.