Prayers are now being made for a devout Christian woman, her husband and mother-in-law after they all perished in a crash that officials suspect was caused by a DUI driver in Arizona last week.
The woman, Katie Marie Zeitino, 30, who is well-known in her community as a prayer warrior, according to the Ahwatukee Foothills News, died along with her husband, Miguel, 31, and mother-in-law, Magdalena Zeitino, 65, after the accident on Oct. 2.
Tempe police spokesperson Officer Lily Duran told the publication that the vehicle the Christian woman and her family were traveling in was involved in a head-on collision at about 7:45 p.m. near Hardy Drive and Southern Avenue. Miguel and his mother died at the scene while Katie died two days later.
Katie, who was a member of the Lamb of God Lutheran Church in Ahwatukee, was known to pray out loud for others, even for people she did not know. And she would always be doing it passionately.
"She lived her faith. She was genuine,'' said Lamb of God Pastor Scott Martz who will preside over her funeral at 11 a.m. on Saturday, Oct. 14 at the Lamb of God Lutheran Church located at 599 E Chandler Blvd in Phoenix.
"She was not judgmental. She would smile. There was nothing fake about Katie," Martz recalled.
"She really had a heart for other people and she was very articulate in her prayers,'' he continued.
Katie, who worked as a store clerk, lived a humble life with her husband. When she died without enough money for a funeral the community quickly came together to support a GoFundMe campaign that met the $5,500 goal that was set in two days. The campaign had raised just under $9,000 as of Thursday morning.
"She went above and beyond loving her neighbor. She made a big impression on people at the store. People could see she was a real person. There was a quality about her. She had something special, genuine," Martz said.
And it was clear from the reaction of those who made donations for her funeral expenses.
"You are an amazing human being. Your faith taught me more than you will ever know. You were kind, patient, understanding and your character is almost non-existent among us. The Lord has called you home and though we mourn you I certainly believe you are in a place of total peace. You made all who knew you smile any time you were amongst us and in this time I want to honor your memory by showing others the same character that you have shown all of us. God Bless you my friend we all loved you and you are missed," Gordon Lafontaine a donor said.
"Katie was a bright spot in my day! Always smiling and offering positive words of encouragement! I will miss my Circle K friend. God brought home a beautiful person," Kym Peters, another donor to the campaign, added.
A separate campaign for Katie's husband and his mother is trying to raise $3,500 in four days.
A wake for Miguel and his mother is set for Friday, Oct. 13 from 5:30-9:30 p.m. and a funeral mass will take place at 8 a.m. on Saturday at Our Lady of Guadalupe Church, 5445 Calle San Angelo, Guadalupe.