Family hopes tragic accident in San Jose helps inspire others

Pallbearers at the funeral of Magda Gonzalez.

August 19, 2013 12:00:00 AM PDT
Funeral services were held Monday in Hollister for 49-year-old Magda Gonzalez. She's the woman who was killed last week when struck by a tractor at San Jose City College. The accident cut short a mother's dream to help others like her.

The hardest thing for Gonzalez's family is seeing a life not yet fulfilled. They flew in from as far away as Arizona and Texas to remember the San Jose resident.

She had gone to the school's campus to register for fall classes.

"She wanted to become a social worker and try and help teenage pregnant women get back on their feet and go in the right direction. As well as work with alcoholics and drug addicts," said Magda's brother Roberto Gonzalez.

Gonzalez had had a tough life herself. Even though she was a straight-A student, she didn't go to college like two of her four siblings. Instead, she cleaned houses and worked cash registers to support five children as a single parent.

Even as she struggled to raise a daughter and four sons, relatives say she was always able to laugh. They described her as energetic and a risk taker. And now she wanted to inspire and guide others facing similar challenges.

After services, the family gathered at home to celebrate a life that had meaning.

"We did all come together because of her. And we come together because of her spirit. Because of her humor and just, her, the joy that she had for life," said Gonzalez's sister Roxanne Stephens.

The death of a loved one can lead to bitterness; however Gonzalez's brother says the owner of Preston Pipeline has been in constant contact, offering help and support.

"It was a tragic accident and that's the way we look at it. Absolutely no ill feelings. We pray that the operator's able to pull through this difficult time. You see tragedies every day and this one hit home," said Roberto Gonzalez.

While Magda Gonzalez did not fulfill the next chapter in her life, perhaps she will inspire others to follow in her footsteps.