Kathleen Gariety's family had tried to persuade her to stay in Wisconsin this summer. But the Baptist aid worker from Wauwatosa insisted on returning to Yemen.
Gariety was among three Americans shot and killed Monday by a suspected Muslim extremist at the Yemeni hospital where they worked.
Gariety had visited two sisters and a brother in Wisconsin.
Her brother, Jerome Gariety, says his sister's missionary work and love for the children there were the reasons she returned to Yemen.
Kathleen Gariety had spent the last 10 years there.
Security officials say the attacker also shot and killed two other American aid workers and seriously wounded a fourth at a Southern Baptist missionary hospital.
The other dead are identified as 60-year-old hospital director William Koehn of Arlington, Texas, and 57-year-old doctor Martha Myers of Montgomery, Alabama.
Jerome Gariety lives in Colgate. His other sisters are Patricia Gariety of Milwaukee and Mary Naylor of Oconomowoc.
Officials say the suspected attacker is in custody.