Kristine M. Carbone, 38, ''loved angels and crosses from the day she was born'' and wore them on chains around her neck, her mother, Lillian Carbone, recalled this week.
"It wasn't that Kris was overly religious," she said. `'I maybe can't speak for her, but perhaps they made her feel safe and confident."
One day, Kristine's father, Pasquale Carbone, put medals honoring St. Anthony and the Blessed Mother around her neck and she wore those, as well.
Her mother said she believes Kristine was wearing them when she perished in The Station fire with her two friends, sisters Theresa Rakoski, 30, of Taunton, and Christina DiRienzo, 37, of Plymouth. It was "a girls' night out," Lillian Carbone said.
Kristine's "cherished companion," Claude Schlieff, was at their Taunton home with one of Kristine's two cats, named Moey, because he had the markings of a cow. Her other cat, Frito, lived with her parents in Stoughton.
"Kris waited all her life for someone like Claude," Lillian Carbone said. "The last four years with him were the happiest in her life."
Kristine wasn't that enthusiastic about the heavy metal music of Great White, her mother said, preferring country and Western and "gentle love songs."
"But, the band was very popular in the '80s when the girls were growing up together," Lillian Carbone said. "They were close and had made plans [to attend] and never disappointed one another."
Kristine's "closest friend and confidante" was her sister, Patrice Carbone, 35, of Weymouth, her mother said.
The family has drawn strength, Lillian Carbone said, from e-mails and calls from Kristine's co-workers and customers at Heritage Salmon, a salmon distributor and processor in Canton. Many who have contacted the family knew Kristine only as a voice on the phone, but have told the family, "We loved her and have lost a friend," her mother said.
"Kris was very warm and caring and extended those feelings to everyone," she said. "She never treated anyone negatively."