Debra Austin, Irma’s cousin, said on the GoFundMe page that Joe died because he lost the love of his life. Irma was one of two teachers killed in the massacre at Robb Elementary School.
“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 said.
Joe visited his wife’s memorial Thursday morning, bringing a large vase of roses with him. Not long after mourning his wife, he suffered from a heart attack and died, KHOU 11 News Houston reported.
Joe Garcia visited his wife’s memorial this morning to place flowers on a cross with her name on it. Joe is the husband to Irma Garcia. Not long after Joe visited Irma’s memorial, he suffered a heart attack and died.
— KHOU 11 News Houston (@KHOU) May 26, 2022
Both Joe and Irma were teachers who liked barbecuing and listening to music together, according to the Daily Wire. Irma was selected two years as a finalist for a Trinity University prize recognizing excellence in teaching.
Irma was holding a child to protect them from the shooter when her body was found, the Austin family told the Daily Wire.
“Irma was a wife, a mother of [four], a cousin, a sister a daughter, an aunt and a wonderful person,” Austin said.
“She would literally do anything for anybody […] no questions asked. She loved her classroom kids and died trying to protect them.”
The tragedy left four orphans: Cristian, 23; Jose, 19; Lyliana, 16; and Alysandra, 12. Cristian is at a military boot camp and Jose is a student at Texas State University, The Daily Mail reported.
Three of the children visited a mass on Thursday night where Father Eduardo Morales blessed them, according to the Daily Wire.
“We are your family. Your mother and father will always find a way to take care of you.”