Courtesy Cindi Lee Cooper-Fields(ALVIN, Texas) — A beloved Texas teacher died last week minutes after her students gave her a musical send-off.
“Mrs. Walker marched to a different beat,” Cindi Lee Cooper-Fields told ABC News. “She was artistic. She never wanted to be a teacher and taught for 17 years at Alvin Junior High School. Everybody deserved to have a teacher or a friend like this. She went out in style. She did it big she did it her way.”
Cooper-Fields’ daughter, Denim, 14, was a student of the late Mariana Walker. Walker was the choir director at Alvin Junior High School in Alvin, Texas.
On Oct. 2, Mrs. Walker had been released from hospice care after her cancer had progressed. Two days later, Cooper-Fields presented an idea to her daughter to do something special for the educator.
“I said, ‘I think it would be beautiful if you all would sing to her one last time,'” Cooper-Fields said. “We knew that Mrs. Walker had cancer, but she never told the kids how bad it was. They knew that she wouldn’t live much longer.”
Cooper-Fields called Walker’s family to ask if the students could come sing outside her home.
On Oct. 5 at 3:15 p.m., 30 to 40 teens gathered outside Walker’s window and performed Hillsong United’s “Oceans.”
A mere 12 minutes after the kids left, Cooper-Fields, who captured the singing on video, said she received a text that Walker had passed.
“She just really influenced me in all aspects of life, not just singing,” junior Madi Webb, 17, told ABC News. “It was really hard for me because when I was in school there, I was really close with her. That was my last time really being with her.”
Freshman Denim Fields told ABC News that she too will miss Walker as her music teacher.
“She told everyone we were the best singers in the world, but we knew it wasn’t true,” Denim said, laughing. “We grew close as a family. Like Madi said, she really influenced us. She taught us how to be happy and love people unconditionally. She taught us a lot of life lessons and how to use singing as a way to express ourselves.”
Walker, who died at age 69, was a resident of Alvin for 30 years, according to her obituary. She is survived by her husband, David Walker, and daughter, Alyxandra Vesey.
Denim, Madi and a number of other choir students will be singing at her funeral services today, at First United Methodist Church in Alvin.
Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.