Days after Lucia Kondas died in the worst mass shooting in Orange County history, her friends and former co-workers remembered her as bright, hardworking — and in her own way, unstoppable.
"I always used to joke, if I had six Lucias and a death ray, I could have conquered the world," said Len Liberio, a Fountain Valley resident and Kondas' supervisor on three county jobs over the years.
Kondas, 65, was one of two Huntington Beach residents who died in the Oct. 12 shooting at Salon Meritage in Seal Beach. She had worked for Orange and Los Angeles counties as an administrator for blind and disabled services, and health and drug treatment, according to Liberio.
The Orange County Health Care Agency, where Kondas worked from 1990 to 2000, put out a statement calling her "an intelligent, generous and compassionate individual who will be missed by many."
"She was an outstanding employee and many missed her when she retired in 2000," the statement read. "Many of her former co-workers are grieving by her tragic passing."
Kondas lived in a gated community overlooking Huntington Harbour. A makeshift memorial with flowers, cards and a photo lined the front gate in the days following the shooting.
Fellow resident Bill Trujillo, who while walking his dog often saw Kondas and her husband, remembered Kondas' chipper demeanor.
"They've been here forever," he said. "She's just the nicest person you'd ever want to meet. Always had a smile on her face."
Trujillo and others signed a posterboard in Kondas' memory and set it outside the salon, where it leaned against the wall below a photo of Kondas and her husband. Cards, flowers, candles and other tributes to victims lined the front of the salon in the days after the massacre.
Kondas' family could not be reached for comment.