MINNEAPOLIS (KMSP) - When a van struck and killed 34-year-old Jillian Friedrich early Thursday morning her family was devastated, telling reporters she was on her way to volunteer at a homeless shelter at the time of the incident.
She had recently joined "Mile in My Shoes," an organization pairing runners with those struggling with homelessness.
"It was a way for her to feel like she was giving back and doing something good for others," Jayne Fox, Friedrich’s mother, said. "She will always be with me. She may be in a different form, but she's everywhere."
Friedrich and her father, Peter Frisch, often had lunch together--and as he went to text her Thursday morning to see if she wanted to grab a bite to eat, he got a phone call he'll never forget.
"I just said, lunch today?" he said. "Before getting a response back from the text, I got a call from my son. He said 'Dad I'm ok, but Jill's not.'"
The most important thing her parents remember is Jill's contagious love for life, especially as it related to her family, friends and her career as a biochemist and researcher at the University of Minnesota.
She was married to her best friend, according to her parents, and had so many plans for the future that will now go unfulfilled.
"I am going to miss absolutely everything about her," Fox said. "I'm going to miss hugging those little shoulders, I'm going to miss looking into those blue eyes and having those deep conversations about life, love and what it all means."