Girl orphaned when mother was killed in Uvalde shooting and father died of broken heart pens tribute

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The daughter of slain Robb Elementary School teacher Irma Garcia promised she ‘will not be forgotten’ in an emotional tribute to her mother, who lost her life in the devastating school shooting in Uvalde, Texas.

Lyliana Garcia, 16, also lost her father, Jose Antonio Garcia AKA ‘Joe’, to a heart attack just two days after Salvadore Ramos murdered 19 children and two teachers, including her mother.

Irma, 48, left behind Lyliana as well as three other children and the family believes Joe died of a broken heart.

To date, a GoFundMe for the couple’s now orphaned children has raised over $2.6million.

‘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,’ she wrote, according to The Mirror.

Girl orphaned when mother was killed in Uvalde shooting and father died of broken heart pens tribute

Lyliana Garcia, 16 (pictured second from left) penned a heartbreaking tribute to father Joe (left) and mother Irma (center) at Irma’s memorial at the site of the Uvalde school shooting at Robb Elementary

Irma Garcia was one of the 21 people killed in the massacre, while Joe died of a heart attack just hours after laying flowers at his wife's memorial

Irma Garcia was one of the 21 people killed in the massacre, while Joe died of a heart attack just hours after laying flowers at his wife’s memorial

People continue to pay respect to the victims at the Uvalde town square memorial following the shooting at Robb Elementary

People continue to pay respect to the victims at the Uvalde town square memorial following the shooting at Robb Elementary

A cross bearing Joe’s name has also been placed at the site along with other symbols of grief and mourning. 

Heartbreaking footage showed Irma’s husband Joe visiting a memorial to his late wife just hours before he too died of what relatives said was a broken heart.

Joe, 43, was filmed toting a large vase of red roses to the memorial site at Uvalde, Texas, on Thursday morning, two days after his wife Irma’s murder.

Just hours later Joe himself was dead of a heart attack, with relatives blaming the anguish of his wife’s passing for the fatal cardiac arrest.

The original goal of the GoFundMe page for the Garcia children was just $10,000.

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Among those who have been touched by the story include 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 have donated more than $2,000 each. 

At the time of writing, the crowdfunding effort has raised $2.6 million. The original goal of the page was just $10,000

At the time of writing, the crowdfunding effort has raised $2.6 million. The original goal of the page was just $10,000

The GoFundMe page for the family of Joe and Irma Garcia has raised over $2.6 million. The original goal of the page was $10,000

Joe and Irma Garcia pictured with their son, Cristian

Joe and Irma Garcia pictured with their son, Cristian

The couple had been wed for 24 years; Joe was a teacher, while Irma was a fourth grade teacher at the now-infamous Robb Elementary School.

They were parents to four children, three of whom were filmed embracing one another at a mass to remember their parents later on Thursday night.

Those youngsters are Cristian, 23; Jose, 19; Lyliana, 16; and Alysandra, 12.

Local resident and teacher Trinity Arriola told the Texas Tribune that she taught on of Garcia’s children in 2022

Arriola said: ‘You could tell they were good kids.’ 

The crowdfunding effort was started by Irma’s cousin, Debra Austin, who wrote on the page: ‘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.’

She added that Irma ‘loved her classroom kids and died trying to protect them.’ 

The other is dedicated to the Tops Friendly Markets store shooting in Buffalo that killed 10 people on May 14. 

At one point Jose was seen weeping as he was overcome with the week’s horrific events. 

Father Eduardo Morales blessed the three siblings who attended the service and told them: ‘We are your family. Your mother and father will always find a way to take care of you.’ 

Cristian is at military boot camp while the couple’s second son, Jose, attends Texas State University.

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After Tuesday’s slaughter at the hands of 18 year-old gunman Salvador Ramos, dozens of stories have emerged of individual tragedies and acts of heroism.

But the cascade of grief inflicted on the Garcia children is amongst the most upsetting of them all.

Irma was killed alongside her co-teacher Eva Mireles, 44, and 19 of their students by gunman Salvador Ramos, 18, who was then shot dead.

Joe Garcia, in the grey t-shirt, is seen visiting the memorial to his wife of 24 years - his childhood sweetheart - on Thursday morning. He died of a heart attack shortly after

Joe Garcia, in the grey t-shirt, is seen visiting the memorial to his wife of 24 years – his childhood sweetheart – on Thursday morning. He died of a heart attack shortly after

The Garcia children are seen on Thursday evening being comforted by the priest. Their mother was murdered in her classroom on Tuesday; their father died on Thursday morning from a heart attack

The Garcia children are seen on Thursday evening being comforted by the priest. Their mother was murdered in her classroom on Tuesday; their father died on Thursday morning from a heart attack

A cross for Irma Garcia is seen in front of Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas

A cross for Irma Garcia is seen in front of Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas

The couple's nephew confirmed Joe's death on Twitter on Thursday

The couple’s nephew confirmed Joe’s death on Twitter on Thursday 

John Martinez, Irma’s nephew, said Joe died from ‘grief’ after returning home from delivering flowers to the memorial. 

Irma’s cousin, Debra Austin, said she was ‘devastated to report Irma’s husband Joe has tragically passed away this morning as a result of a medical emergency.’

She added: ‘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.’

Garcia’s husband and son can be seen in a Facebook photo holding a heart-shaped sign that reads ‘Proud Bobcat family,’ – a nod to the football team at Texas State.

Garcia was previously a nominee for teacher of the year.

She was one of 19 San Antonio-area educators named as finalists for Trinity University’s prize for excellence in teaching in 2019.

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Garcia at the time taught third grade, specializing in social studies and ELAR, or English Language Arts and Reading.

‘I am so excited to begin this new school year already!’ she wrote on the school district’s website before the start of the school year. 

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.’ 

Joe and Irma Garcia were childhood sweethearts and raised four children

Joe and Irma Garcia were childhood sweethearts and raised four children

Joe and Irma Garcia with one of their two daughters. The couple had four children and were married for 24 years

Joe and Irma Garcia with one of their two daughters. The couple had four children and were married for 24 years

Uvalde, nearly 80 miles west of San Antonio, has about 16,000 residents with almost 80 percent of them Hispanic or Latino, according to US Census data. 

There were two days left in the school year when Tuesday’s massacre unfolded. 

Uvalde has canceled schools across the district for the remainder of the year and established grief counseling for survivors. 

Frightening details have been steadily emerged since the tragedy, which was the 27th shooting at a K-12 school in the U.S. this year according to Education Week.

Texas Governor Greg Abbott revealed that the killer also shot his 66-year-old grandmother in the face before heading to Robb Elementary School.

Ramos went on social media to share his plan to attack his grandmother – who, though gravely injured, was able to alert police.

He then messaged again to say his next target was a school, where he headed clad in body armor and wielding an AR-15 rifle. 

Abbott repeatedly brushed aside suggestions for tougher gun laws in Texas when pressed on how the teen was able to obtain the murder weapon.



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