Things That Matter

Husband of Teacher Killed in Uvalde Shooting Dies of a Heart Attack ‘Due to Grief’

The husband of one of the hero teachers slain in the Uvalde, Texas, school shooting suffered a fatal heart attack Thursday, confirms his family. A family member wrote on Twitter that Joe Garcia, husband of Irma Garcia, died “due to grief.”

The May 24 shooting at Robb Elementary School has left the entire world at a loss for words, looking to piece together the attack and figure out how to prevent it from ever happening again. The 18-year-old shooter Salvador Ramos took to Robb Elementary School with an AR-15 rifle and killed 21 people, including 19 students and teachers Irma, 49, and Eva Mireles, 44.

The fourth grade teachers died attempting to keep their students out of harm’s way.

Tragically, Irma’s husband of 24 years, Joe, passed away just two days after the shooting. Their nephew wrote on Twitter: “EXTREMELY heartbreaking and come with deep sorrow to say my Tia Irma’s husband Joe Garcia has passed away due to grief, I truly am at a loss for words for how we are all feeling, PLEASE PRAY FOR OUR FAMILY.”

Irma and Joe were high school sweethearts, and had four children together. Irma worked at Robb Elementary School for 23 years.

Meanwhile, Eva Mireles’ daughter Adalynn Celeste posted a deeply emotional tribute to her mother on Twitter, which consisted of an open letter to her and a photo of the two of them. She captioned the post “My sweet mommy, I will miss you forever.” Adalynn described in the tribute how her mother was “the half” that made her “whole.”

She went on to describe how she “never thought” this could happen, and she keeps telling herself “this isn’t real.” Calling her mother a hero, she wrote: “I want to hear you talking to our dogs… I want to hear you say ‘Nanis wake up already man!’” In the touching note, she explains how her mother’s hands always had calluses because of her love of Crossfit, and that they would speak on the phone every single day at 4:30 p.m. when she got out of work.

Adalynn describes her as a hardworking, devoted mother, who would even wake up from naps to help her daughter make sure the chicken she was making was properly cooked. She talks about karaoke nights, how “outgoing” and “funny” she was and even their fights about “the stupidest things.” Adalynn wrote, “I miss you more than words can explain.” She also explained that she will take care of her father now that Eva is gone, and that her mother is an “inspiration” to her. 

In a harrowing description, Mireles’ daughter wrote about how her mother “selflessly jumped in front of her students to save their lives.”

With so many people looking to help the teachers’ loved ones, two GoFundMe pages have been set up for each of their families. Irma Garcia’s GoFundMe was set up by her cousin, and describes her as someone “would literally do anything for anybody.” About her husband Joe Garcia, it reads: “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.”

Eva Mireles’ GoFundMe page says that the teacher was “the definition of a hero,” that the “family is torn,” and “nothing will ever fill this void.”   

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