RICHFIELD SPRINGS (WKTV) - As an educator Mary Weingates touched many young people's lives at Richfield Springs Central School, but her very caring presence was felt throughout her entire community.
Weingates died in a house fire at her Richfield Springs home on Saturday, November 16th, one week later here on Saturday, November 23rd, more than 600 people attended a remembrance ceremony inside the gymnasium at the school she loved so much.
Dan Myers, Superintendent of the Richfield Springs Central School District helped organize Saturday's tribute along with many of Weingates closest colleagues.
600 chairs were set up, but many more were needed. Myers said it simply Saturday, "What a wonderful show of respect for this lady."
Weingates. who has taught in the district for the past 15 years taught science to 7th, 8th and 9th graders .
Her colleagues say she taught them as well, about life, how to enjoy everyday you have.
Fellow teacher George-Ann Gigliotti, "The people here today are people who retired, and kids who have graduated and they're all back, it's heartwarming the lives she's touches, it's amazing."
Myers says it has been a very rough seven days, "The students were very worried about the grownups, which is an interesting thing. So we worked through a lot of feelings on Monday and Tuesday and slowly it kind of really sunk in as the week went through and we I think we're glad that the Thanksgiving break is coming."
Mary Weingates was 59.