San Jose mom will continue haunted Halloween display in honor of son

His mom says Chris Jimenez died peacefully on Friday, surrounded by family, friends, and so much love

Lauren Martinez Image
Tuesday, May 7, 2024
San Jose mom will continue haunted Halloween display in honor of son
Christopher Jimenez, the son of the parents who put up a haunted Halloween pumpkin patch display in San Jose, has died.

SAN JOSE, Calif. (KGO) -- When you think of a mother's love - a haunted and creepy Halloween display may not be the first thing that comes to mind - but it was for Shelly Jimenez and her son Chris.

Chris was born premature and battled major health issues his entire life.

"He had cerebral palsy on this entire left side his lungs were damaged because he was on a ventilator for almost a year," Shelly said.

When Chris was 15, doctors told his parents Shelly and Sal he wouldn't live to 18.

"I just learned to never, ever give up, and I didn't," Jimenez said.

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A haunted clown carnival is catching the attention of many in San Jose's Willow Glen neighborhood and beyond the scary clowns, there is a deeper reason for the ghoulish display.

On Friday, Chris passed away at the age of 29-years-old.

"He actually molded the kind of people my husband and I are today," Jimenez said.

In 2019, we introduced you to the Jimenez family. Chris's vision was deteriorating at the time and he became more housebound. So his mom wanted to bring joy to him by transforming their front yard in San Jose to an elaborate Halloween display.

"It was just magical his face just lit up every single time we came outside," Jimenez said.

We asked if that tradition would continue.

"If you would've asked me that on Friday after Chris passed away, I would say no. But I need to keep his legacy going. And I need to do it for my community," Jimenez said.

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Neighbors like Tina Estrada said the annual display has brought joy and happiness to so many others.

"You don't see the type of neighborly love and care that goes into the community these days but they give that," Estrada said.

And some of the moms on the street say it's hard to beat the level of compassion Shelley has shown for her family and community.

"I think this might be an opportunity for the community to give back to a family that has given so much," Estrada said.

Dia Yates described the elaborate holiday decorations as the "greatest display of a mother's love."

"They are the ones that really ban us together and so if we could just do a little bit in you know their time of need it's the least we can do," Yates said.

Chris's twin sister Kayla is remembering her brother as a teaser and jokester.

"He just had tons of moments where he had pure joy on his face," Kayla Jimenez said.

Neighbors have been dropping off flowers, gift cards and handmade cards for Chris.

Shelly said they're making final arrangements and hope to hold a community remembrance for Chris sometime next week.

"There will not be a day where I will not talk about him," Jimenez said.

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