Hometown mourns the death of Krystle Campbell in Boston Marathon bombing

Nicholas Iovino & Nell Escobar Coakley%%Medford Transcript
Medford native Krystle Campbell’s mother described her as a ‘beautiful young lady.’ The 29-year-old was killed in the Boston Marathon bombings on Monday.

Flags will be flying at half staff in Medford this week to honor the memory of a 29-year-old Medford native killed in Monday’s Boston Marathon bombings.

Krystle Marie Campbell was cheering on her boyfriend with another friend when she was one of three people killed near the finish line on April 15.

WCVB reported Campbell’s mother, Patty, and her father, William A. Campbell Jr., were still struggling to believe their daughter was killed.

“She loved pets and she loved people,” Patty Campbell told WCVB, adding her daughter worked 16-hour days in the food service industry.

According to Campbell’s Facebook page, she worked at Jasper White’s Summer Shack in Hingham, but reports indicate she had just taken a job at another restaurant in the area.

William Campbell told Yahoo News he’s still in shock over the tragedy.

“My daughter was the most lovable girl. She helped everybody and I’m just so shocked right now. We’re just devastated,” he said. “She was a wonderful, wonderful girl. Always willing to lend a hand.”

Mayor Michael J. McGlynn said he spoke with William Campbell earlier on Tuesday.

“He said, ‘My daughter was a dream daughter. She was just what every father wanted,’” said McGlynn. “Then I heard other comments about how she loved life, how eager and energetic she was.”

The flag in front of Medford City Hall was lowered to half-staff on Tuesday afternoon, and the mayor said the city was planning to hold a prayer service in memory of the fallen marathon runner as well.

“When you have somebody of that age die in such a horrific manner, it’s devastating to the community,” said McGlynn.

The mayor said he offered his condolences and “whatever support we can give” to the family.

Campbell graduated from Medford High School in 2001 and later, UMass Boston. Her grandmother, Lillian Campbell, of Somerville, said her granddaughter had just moved to Arlington.

Medford City Councilor Breanna Lungo-Koehn said she knew Krystle because she graduated the same year as her sister, Arianna Lugno — who also ran in the marathon on Monday, but was not hurt — and the two were friends.

“My sister was about a block away from the finish,” said Lungo-Koehn. “I don’t think she saw anyone injured, but she’s pretty shaken up.”

Lungo-Koehn said this is a sad time for the city of Medford, but she hopes the tragedy will make the community stronger, even as it grieves a great loss.

“Medford’s a strong community, and we have suffered this loss as a city, and we see other people just going through so much tragedy,” she said. “I think that we’re going to overcome it. Everyone needs to just take every day and be grateful for every day they have with their families and their friends.”

Lungo-Koehn has participated in the Boston Marathon in the past and knew many of the 95 Medford residents running in the event this year. She was shocked when she heard two bombs exploded at the finish line on Monday afternoon.

The city councilor said she received a frantic call from her husband on Monday and tried repeatedly to get in touch with her sister, but cell phone towers were off by authorities for fear of phones being used as detonators.

“This is supposed to be such a wonderful, exciting day,” said Lungo-Koehn. “People should be celebrating their accomplishments. A lot of people that run are running for charity.”

Superintendent of Schools Roy Belson said the attack that took place on Marathon Monday was in itself saddening, but to find out an MHS graduate was among those killed makes it much more personal and close to home.

“Everyone has said she was a very energetic, full-of-life individual,” said Belson. “This is someone that’s part of our community.”

Although Medford Public School students are on school vacation this week, Belson said counseling would be made available to anyone who may have known Campbell and could be affected by her death.

“Our condolences and thoughts go out to the Campbell family,” he said.

Campbell, along with 8-year-old Martin Richard of Boston, was one of three people killed in the April 15 bomb attacks. More than 170 people were injured by the blasts as well.

Authorities, led by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, are still searching for clues to determine who was behind the attacks. Authorities have confirmed the bombs were made from pressure cookers and packed with shards of metal, nails and ball bearings.

McGlynn said the city was making its resources available through the North Eastern Massachusetts Law Enforcement Council (NEMLEC) to assist the Boston Police and State Police in any way with the investigation.

Online condolences

Those who knew Campbell are already reaching out through social media. Hordon Health, which had been following the progress of the marathon via its Facebook page, released the subsequent statement on Monday:

“Please take a moment to read… Light a Candle, Say a Prayer for our loss…

“Hordon HEALTH lost a member of its extended family yesterday at the Boston Marathon. Her name was Krystle Campbell, and she died instantly yesterday at the bombings. Krystle could easily have been described as the salt of the earth, but her complexity demands more…

“Close friend of Yann Kumin, once a coach for the Boston Institute of Football and Hordon HEALTH, and friend of Marc Hordon, Krystle was seldom caught not smiling, and not expressing her opinion. She was beautiful, she was loud, and everyone loved her for it. Along with the million dollar smile came head to toe freckles and gorgeous bright red hair, connecting her Irish roots and kid-like manor; it was easy to feel ten years younger around her, no matter who you were. She had tremendous passion and energy, and Krystle attacked life with vigor and excitement.

“Krystle you will be missed not only by those who knew you, loved you, and cherished you the most, but you will be deeply missed by this world as a whole. Your character, your fortitude, your conviction is something that this world desperately needs and now will forever miss.

“Rest in Peace dear child. You are safe. You will always be loved.”

The Campbell family has asked those who knew their daughter to respect their privacy by not sharing personal information online.

As of late Tuesday afternoon, Krystle Campbell’s Facebook page had been removed from the social networking site.