Vigil to remember teacher killed in Taunton rampage
By John Krinjak
NEWPORT, R.I. (WLNE) — A chilly and windy Thursday night at Easton’s Beach in Newport. But the blustery weather didn’t stop dozens from gathering on the sand to remember George Heath, a man known for his kind spirit and sense of humor.
"I remember his kindness, and I try to sort of put that onto other people," said Jenna Ruel, one of George Heath’s former students at New Bedford Vocational Technical School.
Exactly two years since George Heath’s death, wife Rosemary, her friends and his former students held a candlelight vigil in an area George grew up in–sharing hugs, tears and, most importantly, laughs.
"He was really nice and funny and always made you laugh," said former student Riley Thomas. "He made such a big impact in my life and all of our lives that you just can’t forget him."
"Anything to support her and get her through the tough times//we don’t want her to do it alone," said Rosemary’s friend Kristen Barnes.
Here, the high winds turned a frustrating moment into a poignant tribute.
"When we couldn’t get the candles lit because of the wind, all the students said let’s just do a heart out of shells, so they stepped in and designed a heart out of shells," said Rosemary Heath.
Rosemary Heath says seeing the outpouring of love makes all the difference on this difficult day. She’s inspired by the many acts of kindness that folks continue to do in George’s name.
"To know that people are out there still saying his name and doing good things for other people, that makes the world a better place. So of course you have to be happy about that. That’s what George wanted. He lived his life to make things better," said Rosemary Heath.
It’s an example that those touched by George say everyone should live by.
"Just keep his memory alive by being kind, being positive," said Mackenzie Piche. "Because it doesn’t take lot to be kind, and he showed that to us."
© WLNE-TV / ABC6 2018