“Irma was a wonderful wife, mother of 4, cousin, sister, daughter, aunt and person. She would literally do anything for anyone…no questions asked,” she said. said Debra Austin, her cousin, wrote about the GoFundMe campaign she created.
“She loved the kids in her class and died trying to protect them.”
The initial campaign goal was $10,000.
“100% of proceeds will go to the Garcia family for miscellaneous expenses,” Austin said.
Sunday afternoon, 46,400 donations were made.
John Martinez, Irma Garcia’s nephew, also started a GoFundMe for the late couple’s family, which raised over $700,000 and was later combined with the Austin fundraiser.
Garcia had worked as a teacher for 23 years, according to her school biography page.
She was killed Tuesday with her colleague, Eva Mireles, and 19 children, by an 18-year-old gunman. It is the deadliest school shooting in the country in nearly 10 years.
Her husband Joe died two days later of a fatal heart attack, which the couple’s family attributed to a broken heart.
The couple were “high school sweethearts,” Martinez said at their fundraiser.
“I truly believe Joe died of a broken heart and losing the love of his life for over 25 years was too much to bear,” Austin wrote in an update to his fundraiser after death. of Joe.
They leave behind four children, according to Irma Garcia’s school biography: Cristian, Jose, Lyliana and Alysandra.
Their children attended mass at Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Uvalde on Thursday evening, according to CNN affiliate WFAA.
“They were people who went to church, always ready to help, always seeing what they could do in the community – not just their children,” Father Eduardo Morales, the family’s pastor, told the WFAA.
“And I hope we remember how generous they were.”
His words echo Austin’s description of the couple.
“Joe and Irma were amazing people and two of the most loving parents we’ve ever known as a family. They were so proud of all of their kids,” Austin said.
“They are loved and missed beyond words. Thank you again from all the family.”
IN PICTURES: Deadliest mass shootings in US history