The elderly parents of Mary Jane Gardner, killed in Wednesday's Jerusalem bombing, said they are "devastated by the sudden loss of our daughter in this tragic and unexpected way," The Guardian reported Friday.
The British national, an evangelical Christian, was in Israel to study Hebrew in order to work on a translation of the Bible.
"Mary was a very special person and we thought the world of her. She was devoted to her work and was well liked wherever she went," her parents said in a statement. "We are proud of her and all that she has achieved in her life and feel truly blessed to have had her in our lives."
The 55-year-old Gardner had been working for Wycliffe Bible Translators in Togo and lived in the country for 20 years, The Guardian reported. There too she left a wonderful impression.
"I cannot tell you how highly regarded she was. She was an extremely gutsy person, highly intelligent, with huge drive," said Eddie Arthur, executive director of Wycliffe. "She will be sorely missed by her colleagues and all those she worked with in Togo."
Gardner was killed when terrorists detonated an explosive device near a Jerusalem bus stop Wednesday. Officials worked long hours to identify her, as she was not carrying any identification at the time of the blast and had no relatives in Israel searching for her at local hospitals after the attack.
Ynetnews contributed to the story
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