Irma Garcia was shot dead alongside fellow teacher Eva Mireles and 21 students on Tuesday when crazed gunman Salvador Ramos opened fire on a school and her husband died of a heart attack days later.
The orphaned daughter of late Uvalde teacher Irma Garcia has penned a heartbreaking tribute to her parents.
Irma, 48, was shot alongside fellow teacher Eva Mireles, 44, and 21 pupils on Tuesday when crazed gunman Salvador Ramos opened fire on a primary school.
Eva’s husband Joe – full name Jose Antonio – died two days later of a heart attack which his family grieved over losing his wife of 24 years.
The couple’s devastated daughter, Lyliana, 15, told Irma and her husband Joe, “Your names will not be forgotten.”
One of the last things the 50-year-old father of four did was lay flowers at a memorial for the victims in the plaza outside the city courthouse.
A cross bearing his name has now been added, where mourners left flowers, cards and rosaries.
This weekend, Lyliana made a pilgrimage to write a message there.
She wrote: “Dad, I know this was too much for you. Your heart couldn’t take it.
“I will spend the rest of my life fighting for you and mom. Your names will not be forgotten. Your daughter, Lyliana.”
The family of another victim – Annabell Rodriguez, 10 – were inconsolable as they read her the tributes at the same memorial over the weekend.
Irma and Eva desperately tried to protect fourth graders at Robb Elementary School from a hail of bullets as Ramos burst into the classroom just after noon.
He used an AK15 rifle he had bought on his 18th birthday a few days earlier.
Before arriving at school, he had shot 66-year-old grandmother Celia Gonzalez in the head.
She is still being treated at a hospital nearly 90 miles from San Antonio alongside some of the children who survived the assault.
Police came under fire after it was revealed they had not entered the classroom for more than 40 minutes despite frantic 911 calls from children.
On Friday, Colonel Steven McCraw, director of the Texas Department of Public Safety, said, “It was the wrong decision.”
Joe and Irma – who also had sons Cristian, 23, and Jose, 19, and younger daughter Alysandra, 13 – will be laid to rest on Wednesday.
The couple – who wed in 1997 after falling in love in high school – will be buried together following a private ceremony at Sacred Heart Church in Uvalde.
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A notice posted on the website of a local morgue read, “Irma Linda Garcia of Uvalde, Texas was welcomed by our Lord and Savior while selflessly protecting His angels on May 24, 2022 in Uvalde, Texas , at the age of 48.
“Jose Antonio Garcia joined the love of his life and was also welcomed into the arms of his wife, Irma and our Lord on May 26, 2022.”
The family will be allowed to visit Jose and Irma in the morgue on Tuesday afternoon, before saying the rosary – a Catholic ritual after death.
Cristian, who is finishing Marine boot camp, should help carry his parents’ coffins.
It is understood that the younger children are cared for by members of Joe’s family as they try to come to terms with their loss.
An online fundraiser organized by Irma’s cousin Debra Austin has now raised almost £2million for them.