Staff and students over at Sunnyside Elementary School are struggling with the loss of 60-year-old Becky Lee, a popular custodian who was known as "Ms. Becky" to the kids at school.
Lee was walking in a crosswalk when she was hit by a pickup truck last Wednesday at the intersection of Judson Avenue and Edna Street, just a few blocks away from where she worked at Sunnyside Elementary.
She was rushed to San Francisco General Hospital where she was pronounced dead.
The school's principal, John Simard, posted the following letter on the school's website, informing families that they are collecting donations to help Lee's family pay for the funeral.
The collection box is in the school office. If you would like to contribute, please come by the office between 8:00 am and 3:00 pm, now through April 30. Fifth graders will also be visiting the classrooms Tuesday and Wednesday this week to collect donations. If paying by check, please make the check out to "Sunnyside Elementary PTA." You may also donate online by going to: http://www.sunnysidek5.org and clicking on the "Donate to Sunnyside" button. When filling out the online form, please write "Becky Lee" in the "note" field. The collected funds will be forwarded to the family.
Simard says the school is also planning to plant a tree in memory of Lee, details on what kind of tree to come.
Read the full letter from Simard:
I am very sorry to inform you that our beloved daytime custodian, Becky Lee, passed away on Wednesday evening at 7:20 p.m. While taking an evening walk, she was struck by a car near the corner of Judson and Edna.
Our students usually called her "Ms. Becky." She has been a custodian in SFUSD for many years but joined our team at Sunnyside in summer 2010. She was very happy to have this transfer as our school is very close to her home. She was a very positive influence in the lives of many of our Chinese-speaking students. She was kind and warm to all children and adults alike and put great care into her work.
Along with being an integral part of our staff, Ms. Becky was also a member of our local community. Both of her adult sons graduated from Lowell High School and are now physicians.
As this event has received local news coverage, many of our students will come in today already knowing of this tragedy. Teachers will address what happened with their students this morning in class and the students will have time to make cards that I will present to Ms. Becky's family. Two additional counseling staff are at Sunnyside today to help us work with students who need additional support. At the end of the day today, our school will assemble on the yard for a moment of silence in memory of Becky.
I am working with Ms. Becky's family to determine additional ways that we can memorialize her and our sadness for her passing.
If your family has experienced a death recently, this event may reawaken feeling of loss for your child. This is a normal experience. Please let your child's teacher know any additional information that would help us support your child.
A sudden death of a person can be very disturbing for children. Because of this, we want to make sure that your child knows that s/he is in a caring environment where the adults are all here to help.
The 42-year-old woman who was driving the truck wasn't arrested and remained on the scene where she cooperated with the cops. Police are still trying to determine how the accident occurred.