'Your names will not be forgotten': Uvalde victim Irma Garcia's daughter pens note for dead parents
Irma Garcia's son Jose said the students were 'her lifeblood' and that she loved engaging with children and teaching them
The daughter of Robb Elementary School teacher Irma Garcia who was murdered by gunman Salvador Ramos has penned an emotional tribute for her slain mother, as well as her father Joe Garcia who died due to a heart attack days later. Lyliana Garcia, 16, wrote the note on a memorial left to her dad at the same place he had laid flowers for 48-year-old Irma, just hours before his death.
Joe and Irma were married for nearly 25 years. The family believes Joe died of a broken heart after Irma was killed in the shooting. Lyliana is now orphaned along with her three other siblings-- Cristian, Jose and Alysandra. Irma and Joe's deaths have been one of the most heart-rending stories to emerge from the deadly massacre at the Uvalde school.
"Dad, I know this was too much for you. Your heart could not take it. I will spend the rest of my life fighting for you and mom. Your names will not be forgotten. Your daughter, Lyliana," Lyliana wrote, according to The Mirror, on a heart attached to a cross bearing Joe's name. Cristian is at military boot camp, while her other sibling Jose, attends Texas State University. Jose, 19, said his mother 'treated her students as her own,' and decorated her classrooms with college memorabilia, to inspire them to reach their academic potential. "She wanted to instill that in their brains," he said. "They were her lifeblood. She loved engaging with children and teaching them. She loved her job and she loved her co-workers."
Irma's husband Joe had visited a memorial just hours before he too reportedly died of grief. The 50-year-old took a large vase of red roses to the memorial site at Uvalde, Texas, two days after his wife was killed.
A GoFundMe has now been set up by Irma's cousin, Debra Austin, for the couple's orphaned children. "Hi, my name is Debra Austin, Irma Garcia was my cousin and one of the teachers killed at Robb Elementary in Uvalde, Texas(5/24/2022). Irma was a wife, a mother of 4, a cousin, a sister a daughter, an aunt and a wonderful person. She would literally do anything for anybody......no questions asked. She loved her classroom kids and died trying to protect them. Please donate anything you can to help her family. 100% of the proceeds will go to the Garcia family for various expenses. Thank you and God bless," the GoFundMe page reads. "I am equally devasted to report Irma's husband Joe has tragically passed away this morning(5/26/2022) as a result of a medical emergency. Please keep our family in your thoughts and prayers. I truly believe Joe died of a broken heart and losing the love of his life of more than 25 years was too much to bear."
"I would like to add a note for the people questioning the legitimacy of John Martinez's GoFundMe page. It is/was 100% LEGIT. This young man was trying to do something for his Tia(Aunt) and her children. Shame on those who accused him of being a fraud. He is a great young man trying to help his family," it added. When the article was written, $2,659,520 had been raised of the $10,000 goal. Among those who donated are Destiny's Child singer Kelly Rowland, 'The Real Housewives of Atlanta' star Porsha Williams, YouTuber Mona Kattan, writer Maureen Orth and Billy Joel's daughter, singer-songwriter Alexa Ray Joel. All of them contributed more than $2,000 each.