ATLANTA (CBSDFW.COM) – A Georgia teacher who dedicated 30 years of her life to educating young students made a final request before dying of cancer earlier this month.
Instead of flowers, Tammy Waddell wanted backpacks filled with school supplies for students in need at her funeral.
On June 13, her friends and family honored that last wish.
“A teacher to the end,” her cousin, Brad Johnson, tweeted along with a photo of backpacks lining the pews. The post has been liked more than 12,000 times.
Johnson said nearly 100 teachers who worked with Waddell in Forsyth County served as honorary pallbearers and delivered the backpacks to students in the days following her funeral.
Waddell lost her battle with cancer at the age of 58. She passed away peacefully surrounded by those who love her most on June 9, according to her obituary.
She worked in Forsyth County Schools for over three decades and “believed every child deserved an opportunity to learn.”
“Tammy was adored by both her students and colleagues; however, she was loved by none more than her friends and family,” her obituary reads. “ She will be missed dearly.”
After Waddell’s final request went viral, an educational organization in the United Kingdom also decided to send backpacks to Forsyth County in her honor.