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Grandmother of 2nd bombing victim Krystle Campbell: 'She was the best'

April 16, 2013|By Alan Zarembo and Maeve Reston
  • Grieving neighbors sit outside the house of Krystle Campbell's parents in Medford, Mass., on Tuesday. Campbell was killed in Monday's explosions at the finish line of the Boston Marathon.
Grieving neighbors sit outside the house of Krystle Campbell's parents… (Michael Dwyer / Associated…)

Krystle Campbell was always stopping by to see her grandmother. Last Thursday afternoon, they drank tea and talked for a couple hours — about work, friends, life.

It was the last time Lillian Campbell saw 29-year-old Krystle, one of three people killed in the bombings Monday at the Boston Marathon.

“She was the best,” said Lillian Campbell, 79. “She loved being around people. She loved doing things for people. She was a hard worker. She was bubbly all the time.”

FULL COVERAGE: Boston Marathon attack

She said Krystle went with a friend named Karen to watch the finish of the marathon, as had become her tradition.

Her relatives at first believed that Krystle had survived the bombings with serious injuries to her legs, her grandmother said. But they learned Tuesday morning that it was in fact Karen who was in the hospital.

Krystle grew up in Medford, Mass., and for the last several years worked in the restaurant and catering business.

VIDEO: Boston marathon explosion

She managed the Summer Shack restaurant in the town of Hingham until a few months ago, when she took a management job at Jimmy’s Steer House in nearby Arlington.

“She had one of those personalities that belongs in hospitality,” said Nick Miminos, the operations director who hired her. “She was instantly likable. The waitstaff loved working with her. She would run food for them, clear the tables for them. She wasn’t just a figurehead. She enjoyed getting her hands dirty.”

New to the job, she quickly came up with new menu ideas, including two styles of lobster rolls.

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She was also adept at diffusing any complaints from diners with her easy smile and kind manner, said Miminos, adding that he had plans to promote her inside the restaurant chain.

Krystle was also dedicated to her family. A few years ago, she moved into her grandmother’s house in Somerville, Mass., to help her recuperate from an operation.

She moved out about a year ago to share an apartment with friends in Arlington.

“She was a beautiful person,” her grandmother said. “She was very giving to anybody. She was right there to help anybody.”

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alan.zarembo@latimes.com

maeve.reston@latimes.com

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