'Teacher to the end' leaves lasting legacy with final wish

(Brad Johnson via Twitter)

CUMMING, Ga. – A Georgia teacher couldn't resist passing along one final lesson before she died this month. This time, she taught loved ones and total strangers alike something about selflessness.

Tammy Waddell of Forsyth County passed away June 9 after a bout with cancer. But instead of flowers at her funeral, she asked for backpacks filled with school supplies for needy students.

Her friends and family didn’t disappoint. Waddell’s cousin, Brad Johnson, tweeted a photo showing backpacks lining the aisle inside the chapel, saying his cousin was “a teacher to the end.”

Johnson said roughly 100 teachers who taught alongside Waddell over the years were honorary pallbearers at the funeral, adding that they each took a backpack with them when they left.

Thousands of people were moved by Waddell’s selfless gesture. As of Monday, Johnson’s tweet was shared 2,600 times and liked by more than 13,000 users.

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