Phyllis Schneck had participated in a conference call with U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords before this November's election and liked what she heard.

Her family thinks that's why Schneck went to a northwest side Safeway on Jan. 8 - to meet Giffords at one of the Democratic congresswoman's "Congress on Your Corner" events. It wasn't Schneck's regular grocery store and, although she was a Republican, Shneck wasn't usually a very political person, friends and family said.

She was killed that morning in the rain of gunfire that took five other lives and injured 13.

Schneck's daughter, 57-year-old Betty Jean Offutt of Colorado, said it would be just like her mother to want to meet the woman she'd spoken with on the phone.

Let's remember Schneck, who was 79, as her family believes she would like to be remembered: as a devoted mother of three and grandmother of seven, as the chef who prepared widely admired baked macaroni and cheese and elaborate holiday meals, and as a gifted quilt maker and a volunteer at her church, Northminster Presbyterian.

President Obama on Wednesday noted that Schneck also made aprons - with both the Giants' and the Jets' logos on them.

She and her late husband, Ernest, began to winter in Tucson after his retirement; they summered in their hometown, Rutherford, N.J., according to the family's website.

"They didn't want to ever have to deal with the snow again," said Offutt.

A memorial service will be held today at 2 p.m. at Northminster Presbyterian Church, 2450 E. Fort Lowell Road.

Arizona Daily Star