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Teacher’s Last Wishes Were To Bring Backpacks Of School Supplies Instead Of Flowers To Her Funeral

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Teachers are some of the finest people in our society. They don’t make near the amount of money they should, have to deal with children and have to work long hard hours. They have to do all of this with a huge smile on their face and shape the next generation the best they can.

Tammy Waddell was an example of one of those selfless teachers that everyone loved and needed in their lives. Waddell had been a teacher for 30 years until recently passing away from cancer at the age of 58.

But even after death, she was a teacher first and everything else second. In lieu of flowers at her funeral, her last wishes was to have everyone bring book bags filled with school supplies. Her cousin tweeted this photo out, and it went viral as it should have.

He also said that, “She had about 100 teachers as honorary pallbearers who carried the backpacks out and back to their schools. It was heartwarming.”

He then showed some of those honorary pallbearers who had worked with Tammy at some point in her career. It was simply beautiful.

Tammy’s obituary detailed her excellence further:

“Tammy served the children and community of Forsyth County for thirty years as a paraprofessional and elementary teacher in Forsyth County Schools.

She had a passion for literacy and believed that every child deserved an opportunity to learn.

She was a National Board Certified Teacher and in 2003 was recognized as the Forsyth County Schools Elementary Teacher of the Year.



She left a legacy in the hallways of Sawnee Elementary & Primary Schools, Cumming Elementary School and Haw Creek Elementary School.

Those around her recognized Tammy by her generosity, selflessness and unconditional love. Though her achievements and accolades are numerous, none are greater than the many lives that she changed over the course of her three decades in education.”

After the tweet went viral, Dr. Johnson has been receiving an outpour of support. He told Babble that, “There has been an outpouring of support for her last request with backpacks being sent from as far as the U.K.”

Image Via Brad Johnson

Tammy’s guestbook has been receiving all the love too. People have been writing in to talk about how inspired they have been by the story.

“Thank you for your tired less love and commitment to our children. Your kindness and generosity has touched all of us. – Jeanette”

“Ms. Waddell was my daughter’s (Katelyn) 5th grade teacher during the 2016-2017 school year. We are so sorry to hear of her battle with cancer and her ultimate passing. She will truly be missed. We were so happy to hear of her desire for backpacks. What a great way to help out the community while remaining a ‘teacher until the end’. – Julie”

“In loving memory of a wonderful person. We will love you and miss you always.You were the best 5th grade teacher. – Anonymous”

If you feel inspired by this story, you can do one of the following. You can look at donorchoose.org where you can find teachers to support. In addition, Dr. Johnson tweeted out an address where you can send supplies to in the name of Tammy.

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