SAN ANTONIO – A group of friends are giving back to those in need in honor of a friend who was tragically killed in a hit-and-run crash.
Lisa Starr Rosenstein, 53, was an avid runner with 27 marathons to her name.
Her friends described her as a fierce, yet loving soul.
“She lived on her own terms,” said Leslie Met, her best friend. “She was tough as nails on the outside, but on the inside, she had a heart of gold and would have dropped anything and been there for anyone in a heartbeat. She did that for us many times.”
“I think it is unanimous,” said Chris Brower, another fitness friend of Rosenstein’s. “She would light up the room like a movie star. She was just natural about it. She had a natural charm and energy. She was very personable and very caring and would be very focused on the individual.”
Lisa Hernandez-Bobrow ran a lot with Rosenstein.
“I ran 36 marathons and she ran 27,” said Lisa Hernandez-Bobrow. “She never missed a day. She had no rest days. I would always give her crap about it. I would say, ‘You need to rest. You need to rest. Your body needs to rest.’ She would usually answer me with a four-letter word,” she laughed. “She would do what she wanted to do.”
She said the best word she can think of about Rosenstein’s personality was her thoughtfulness.
“She was a lot,” Lisa Hernandez-Bobrow laughed. “People either loved her or they didn’t love her, and I absolutely adored her. She loved hard and she loved fast and there was no doubt in your mind that Lisa adored you.”
Alex Hernandez-Bobrow agreed.
“She just made you feel like she was your best friend when she would just meet you,” Alex Hernandez-Bobrow said. “I remember when we went to her house for dinner one time and the entire family walked us out of the house, down the street, and to our car. It is little things like that that make an impact on your life. She was real and so authentic in a way that so many of us wish we could be. She was pure magic that you don’t come across real often and she changed a lot of our lives,” she said through tears.
They said Rosenstein was very colorful with words, with one word in particular being her favorite. They said she had a raw sense of humor.
“Usually twice a day, you would see her walking or cooling off and I would honk at her and sometimes she would wave and sometimes she would wave with less fingers,” Jared Diamond said. “She was unapologetically herself. She was tough, but she was gushy on the inside and wasn’t afraid of showing the toughness or the gushiness.”
Rosenstein trained often and loved to run. They said she loved her family to death.
“She was a mom first,” Met said. Family came first. She was very involved with her kids at school and in college and synagogue. Her life revolved around her family and running.”
Sadly, Sunday morning, Rosenstein would take her final run.
San Antonio police said she was jogging on the North Loop 1604 West eastbound access road between Lockhill Selma Road and NW Military Highway when she was struck and killed by a four-door sedan.
“We were walking in the gym when I got the call,” said Lisa Hernandez-Bobrow. “It was a friend who normally texted. She never called so that is when I knew something wasn’t right. She asked me if I was sitting down and I really knew this was not going to be good. She had to repeat herself three times because I couldn’t process what she was saying. I thought she said, ‘Lisa’s dog got hit by a car.’ Then I thought she said, ‘Lisa’s daughter got his by a car.’ Then I heard it. ‘Lisa Starr got hit by a car and was killed.’ The first thing I thought was the brightest light I know just went out,” she cried. “Where do we go from here.”
“It was so shocking,” Brower said. “It took time to process because I thought she was going to live forever. There was nothing that could take her down. I still can’t wrap my mind around it.”
Her friends said even though they are heartbroken, they are comforted knowing Rosenstein was happy with her life.
“Someone said to me that there is a belief that when it is your time, you have fulfilled everything you were suppose to fulfill,” Met said. “She was doing what she wanted on her own terms and enlightening all of us. She had done everything she wanted to do and she did it her way. I can imagine her just being OK with everything she left behind.”
The group is now collecting running shoes in honor of Rosenstein. So far, they’ve collected dozens.
“Susan Beldon came up with this idea,” Diamond said. “It was something she was passionate about, something she loved, and something that would make an impact on the community, which is the most important thing and would have been and is important to her.”
At this time, they say it is hard to think about forgiveness to the hit-and-run driver.
“It is hard to imagine someone could do something like this,” Alex Hernandez-Bobrow said. “The only way my mind could process it is that maybe they couldn’t have known. Maybe they were sleeping or drinking or on their cellphone. If they did know, they need to come forward because I can’t fathom that someone would do this knowingly.”
Dorthy Winfield is another close friend and coordinator of the shoe drive. If you would like make a donation, you can drop off a pair of running shoes (adult sizes 5-9) at: 7334 Blanco Road, Suite #200.
They will also be taking shoe donations during Rosenstein’s funeral scheduled for Wednesday at Agudas on Austin Highway.
David Starr, Rosenstein’s father, is the president of the American Agape Foundation. Winfield said the shoes will be donated to the local children they serve first and will then reach all areas of San Antonio.
Crime Stoppers is also offering a reward for anyone who could help with finding the person responsible for the crime. They are asking to send in tips at (210) 224-STOP.
“Just take an extra look at our fellow people running and cycling and trying to live life,” Alex Hernandez-Bobrow said. “It would save a lot of heartache.”