Longtime teacher dies at 76, asks for backpacks, school supplies in lieu of flowers

Donations to be collected at memorial service for John C. Sauceda

Courtesy: Stephanie Adams
Courtesy: Stephanie Adams

SAN ANTONIO – A longtime San Antonio teacher died earlier this month following open heart surgery, but prior to his death, he asked that his passion for education be continued beyond the grave.

John C. Sauceda's granddaughter Stephanie Adams said her her grandfather's life was about education, so it came as no surprise when he insisted that people purchase backpacks filled with school supplies in lieu of flowers in the event he died.

"I thought it was awesome," Adams said. "My grandpa, he devoted his life to education. Everything about his life was about education."

Sauceda died Sept. 2 at the age of 76 after battling mitral valve disease and undergoing two open heart surgeries.

Adams said her family is collecting donations of backpacks and school supplies for students at Longfellow Middle School where her grandfather taught science for more than two decades.

The middle school is a Title I campus, meaning the student body is mostly comprised of students from economically disadvantaged backgrounds.

Adams said they will collect backpacks and school supplies at her grandfather's memorial service on Thursday at the San Fernando Cathedral downtown. The service begins at 10 a.m.

Adams hopes to take the donations to Longfellow Middle School on Friday and impart to them the same value of education her grandfather instilled in her.

Those wishing to drop off donations with Adams can contact her via email at sadams8826@gmail.com.