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Teacher’s Final Wish: Backpacks Full of Supplies Instead of Flowers at Her Funeral

Teacher’s Final Wish: Backpacks Full of Supplies Instead of Flowers at Her Funeral

For anyone going through cancer, when the disease reaches the terminal phase, they are most concerned about making sure their loved ones will be taken care of when they are gone. They are rarely thinking about the well-being of people that they do not know and will never meet.

However, this doesn’t work for elementary school teacher named Tammy Waddell.

“A teacher to the end”

On June 9th, 2018, Tammy Weddell passed away from cancer at the age of 58 after 30 years of teaching elementary school in Forsyth County, Georgia.

Surrounded by family, the teacher had one final wish: Tammy didn’t want people to buy flowers for her funeral. Instead, she requested that each person bring a backpack filled with school supplies.

Her wish was granted

Her family members posted some incredible photos from the service with the stage and aisle lined with full-to-bursting backpacks. Lined up outside the service where many of the teachers Tammy had spent her career working alongside, each with a full backpack of their own.

Tammy’s cousin referred to them on Twitter as “honorary pallbearers.”

A true angel on earth.

Tammy was dedicated to her students and she was a National Board Certified teacher and Forsyth County Teacher of the Year in 2003.

The teacher, who had taught at three different schools in the region, was known as a selfless teacher who was always there to support her colleagues and her students alike.

In addition, Tammy was a member of the Rainbow Girls, a philanthropic sorority for girls aged 10-20 that helps girls grow up to be confident, self-sufficient young women.

She was also a volunteer firefighter with the Forsyth County Volunteer Fire Department Four Ladies Auxiliary

A legacy that will love on.

Those backpacks will provide underprivileged children with the supplies they need to go to school, ultimately helping to end the cycle of poverty and allow them to fulfill their potential as successful adults.

For people who were not able to attend the service or donate a backpack, the family asked for them to make a d0nation to Project Connect at Forsyth Central Highschool.

Below is the information

Project Connect

c/o Forsyth Central High School

131 Almon C. Hill Drive

Cumming, GA 30040

Let’s help Tammy’s legacy of love and compassion live on!



  1. Teacher’s dying wish: Backpacks full of supplies instead of flowers at her funeral.” ABC3340. Kendra Mann. June 25, 2018
  2. Tammy Waddell.” Mc Donald and Son. June 9, 2018.
  3. About Georgia Rainbow.” Gai Org.