PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Sometimes, after a day of hiking, Helen Grochowski and Susan Putnam-Jensen would put paint to canvas, capturing the beautiful scenery they had seen earlier. They were Oregon explorers, if you will.
“She’s very, very encouraging,” Putnam-Jensen said. “She’d say, ‘You’re so good, Susy, you’re going to be famous’ and of course artists love to hear that.”
Putnam-Jensen also said Grochowski was an active 63-year-old, and she was right up until Thursday night when she was hit and killed while walking her bike right outside of Southridge High School in Beaverton. Mayzar Shirzad, who lives near where the accident happened, tried to give Grochowski CPR, but she died at the scene.
The driver was a 17-year-old student at Southridge High School. Police say it’s not a criminal investigation and no charges have been filed. A police spokesman said based on what the driver and witness said, “there was nothing he could do to avoid striking her.”
Still, Grochowski is now suddenly gone, and it’s something her friends and family are coming to terms with a day after it happened. One way they’re doing it is by remembering the person she was — someone who brought joy to others.
Grochowski’s sister, Judy Rennick, said Helen used to pick up food for those who were need or drive people to appointments when they needed help. Then, because of high insurance, Helen traded in her car for a bike.
“She got into riding her bike a lot, partly to help her weight,” Putnam-Jensen said, “and she lost the use of her car, she didn’t have a lot of money.”
Helen lived by herself but always took time to shower her siblings and their children with love, Putnam-Jensen said.
“Somebody who, you know, really encouraged me to do my art,” Putnam-Jensen said. “I don’t know what I’m going to do without her.”