Modesto Grandmother Killed While Crossing Street Remembered For Her Acts of Kindness

MODESTO -- A Modesto grandmother is being remembered for her constant, small acts of kindness despite her own adversities and financial struggles.

Terri Churchill was killed this week while trying to cross the busy intersection of Standiford Avenue and Tully Road.

"My mom collected things, you know? She loved little antique things and buttons and lace and all that stuff but more than anything else, she collected people," Churchill's daughter, Beverly Jensen, told FOX40.

Jensen says her 69-year-old mom loved walking her pug Gizzy at Dry Creek Park. She was the kind of person who had a heart and a helping hand for just anyone.

"More than once she helped out kids that had come out to their parents and didn’t have a place to go or had been kicked out," Jensen said. "My mom was there for them.”

Longtime friend Cynthia Bryant also credits Churchill for saving her daughter’s life. A fire destroyed her home and claimed the life of her infant son in the 80’s, but her daughter was safe with Churchill.

"She did what needed to be done and didn’t expect anything from it," Bryant told FOX40 over the phone. "She was watching my child, my other child, when the fire happened and saved my child’s life."

Police say Churchill was killed Tuesday when she was struck by a car. Jensen says she had mobility issues and used a cane.

"When you’re somebody who lives with chronic pain, she was a breast cancer survivor for 15 years, she’s had back surgeries," Jensen said.

Despite those mobility issues, Churchill still had a big heart.

"That's just who she was," Jensen said.

Jensen says the last few years have been rough. Two years ago, her sister — who was very close with her mom — died of an overdose.

During her grief, she’s been hearing from people who have been touched by her mother’s small acts of kindness.

"She would talk to anybody and have empathy," Jensen said. "She wasn’t judgmental and so she just had that really rapport with people I think and that’s what’s really gonna be missed."