Friday 16 November 2018

A teacher requested school backpacks instead of flowers at her funeral

The bags were filled with supplies for needy students.

(@DrBradJohnson/Twitter)
(@DrBradJohnson/Twitter)

By Edd Dracott, Press Association

A terminally-ill teacher requested for backpacks filled with school supplies for needy children instead of flowers to be laid at her funeral.

Tammy Waddell died earlier this month aged 58 after a battle with cancer but her final request has now inspired people across the globe after pictures of the gesture were shared thousands of times online.

Tammy, an elementary-school teacher from Georgia, has been commended by her cousin, Dr Brad Johnson, who shared images of the unique funeral online.

“She always felt a bond to students in need,” Brad told the Press Association. “Whether they need supplies or a hug. So, she thought they needed backpacks more than she needed flowers.

“I think she would be embarrassed by all the attention because she wouldn’t want the focus to be on her. But she would be appreciative that it touched so many people.”

The backpacks were distributed by around 100 teachers Tammy had taught with and the supplies given to students in need across her home of Forsyth County, but the trend has inspired others further afield.

“People are sending backpacks to the school district from all over the world,” said Brad. “I guess you could say the final lesson she taught touched the whole world.”

ipanews_7ac6f73d-68ec-4a3e-90df-a119ca36f245_embedded864805
(Picture courtesy of Brad Johnson)

Tammy, a teacher herself for four decades, was married with two sons, one of whom is a teacher while both are married to teachers.

“She was a very sweet and loving person,” Brad said. “I think that is what people feel through this even though they never met her.”

Press Association

Today's news headlines, directly to your inbox every morning.

Editors Choice

Also in World News