PENSACOLA BEACH, Fla (WALA) - A wreath now rests near the spot where Deborah Rector died.
But Saturday, those affected by her death came together to celebrate her life.
"She owned you at hello. All you had to do is say hello and you were the best friend she ever had. She would give you the shirt off her back, or help you rake your yard. It didn't matter," said Ben Rector, Deborah's brother.
Rector was struck by two cars Tuesday night, March 20, while walking home from Waffle House on U.S. 98 in Gulf Breeze, where she worked for 28 years.
Dozens traveled from all over, including Canada, gathered to remember Deborah, or 'Debo', as many called her.
Andrew Mercer was Deborah Rector's friend for over 20 years.
"Debo was a kind soul. She had a great smile and a twinkle in her eyes. Those that knew her, knew she was happy or up to something. She's going to be really missed," Mercer said.
Rector was the third person killed on U.S. 98 less than two weeks.
Her family hopes her death will make the highway safer for everyone.
But for now, they're trying to get through the pain because they say that's what she would want.
"She didn't want the tears but she knew they were going to come. She wanted people to just celebrate her life. It fills my heart with love and appreciation for each and every person here," said Ben Rector. "Many I don't even know, but they knew her. I'm proud to call Debo my sister. You're loved and you'll be missed."
Rector's family has another memorial planned for next Saturday in Huntsville, Alabama.
The Florida Department of Transportation told FOX10 earlier in the week that they do plan to make changes to the highway starting in Navarre.
The changes will begin this summer and will include adding pedestrian signals, sidewalks and crosswalks to specific areas.
They also will consider adding lights to the highway and want suggestions from residents.
You can contact the Florida Department of Transportation on their website .
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