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Undated family photo of Doris Chibuko. (Courtesy of family)

SAN LEANDRO -- A lot of G-words came to mind when friends and family remembered the life of Doris Chibuko, a loving mother of three who police say died at the hands of a former classmate on a shooting spree.

Genuine, generous and gracious.

Add "gutsy" to the list: Her husband attests that she previously called attention to the safety threat posed by One L. Goh, the man charged with killing her and six others and wounding three more in a bloody Monday morning rampage at Oikos University in East Oakland.

Chibuko, 40, was a lawyer in her native Nigeria and was in the midst of launching a second career in nursing, eight months into a one-year vocational program, and served as class president.

Chibuko's husband, Efanye, said his wife told him Goh was belligerent toward Oikos students and staff, even kicking the walls of the building in one instance. He said she and other schoolmates told administrators about the danger he posed to students.

"The school was aware of his violent tendencies," he said.

The death of the San Leandro woman left her husband of more than 10 years and their young children in a state of shock.

"She was a beautiful woman. Always thinking of others," Efanye Chibuko said. "This is a tremendous loss to us. I don't have the words to express how I feel."

Efanye Chibuko said his wife's death still hasn't fully sunk in with him, and that he hasn't discussed it extensively with his daughters, ages 8, 5 and 3.

"They know what's going on, but they don't fully understand," he said of the two older girls, adding that the toddler just senses something is awry.

Her death also hit the Bay Area's Nigerian community hard, said Christian Okeke, a longtime family friend.

"To lose her is devastating because this community is so tight-knit," said Okeke, a legal author and law professor at Golden Gate University.

After spending Tuesday night receiving more than a hundred well-wishers, a handful of close family and friends held vigil Wednesday at the San Leandro hills home she shared with her family. They had spent so much time discussing her death over the past two days that they relished the chance to celebrate her life.

Another quality that shone through was an air of authenticity, that what she told you was exactly what she thought.

"Doris was real," said Obiora Chidom, a friend who hails from Chibuko's village in Enugu state in Nigeria. "You can put that in capital letters."

Victoria Achonwa worked with Chibuko at her part-time job at the Villa Fairmont Mental Health Rehabilitation Center, and remembers her best friend as the peacemaker among her friends and relatives, who lived for doting on her family.

Chibuko had ambitions to return to law in the United States, where she and her husband immigrated about a decade ago. But she made a practical decision to get her nursing degree to help put food on the table for her family, Okeke said.

Chibuko was employed as a mental health worker at Villa Fairmont for about 18 months, said Brian Gilbane, the facility's clinical director.

"Her colleagues have been speaking about what a good friend and mother she was, and how soft-spoken, sweet and compassionate she was," Gilbane said.

Chibuko's mother, Victoria Achu, spoke about her daughter -- the second of six -- in a similar soft-spoken demeanor.

"She was a very kind girl, generous. And very prayerful," Achu said. "I would like people to pray for her."

Achonwa insisted that people hear a recent story about her friend's selflessness: Three months ago, a friend in Nigeria was diagnosed with breast cancer and needed $1,000 for an operation. Chibuko and her husband fronted some of the money and she took a collection at her school. She wired the money, and soon heard that the surgery was successful.

Achonwa lavished her with praise, but she said Chibuko passed off credit to others who gave. Achonwa would have none of it.

"I told her, 'Doris, you are an angel.' "

Contact Robert Salonga at 925-943-8013.