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Students Remembering Mrs. Parrot Garney

January 15, 2013
By Olivia Garcia of South Houston High School

Death is a very sensitive subject; no one has the magic potion to make the hurt go away.  We try to move forward, knowing that we will always have with us the special memories of our loved ones.

On December 24, 2012, South Houston High School lost a well-loved teacher, Mrs. Wendy Parrott Garney.  Mrs. Garney was diagnosed with brain cancer eight years ago and fought courageously.   Unfortunately, she lost the battle on Christmas Eve at the tender age of 33.

In addition to chemistry, anatomy and physiology, she also coached cheerleading.  To her family, she was a daughter, sister, and devoted wife.  She had married SHHS baseball coach, Justin Garney, over the summer.  When interviewed by The Torch Online, Coach Garney said that his wife will always be thought of, and that it makes it more difficult for him to return to school knowing she won’t be there. 

“I’m constantly being reminded of her passing as people after people come up to me to give their condolences, but it’s also comforting to know that they care and were touched by her,” said Garney.  “It’s especially difficult when I am alone; I miss her terribly, but I know she is in a better place.”

One of the hundreds of special things about Mrs. Garney is the tattoo on her foot.  She would tell her class that she had always wanted one, but didn’t want the random barbed wire or star that is so popular.  She wanted meaning behind it.  She wanted to have a story to tell.  When Mrs. Garney found out she had brain cancer, she just knew exactly what to get.  Upon her foot, you will find the Fleur De Lis.  Her meaning ? surviving and making a new beginning.

“[Mrs. Garney] was an awesome teacher,” said SHHS senior cheerleader Karla Villarreal.  “She was like a mom to me…we would talk about everything…  I know she was suffering.  I’d rather not see her suffering anymore. It makes me feel better to know that she’s cured.”

Students said no matter what Mrs. Garney was feeling, what discomforts she may have had, she always had a smile on her face and looked like a movie star.  It was especially difficult for her class when she missed school while undergoing chemotherapy for the last few years.  She was successfully treated several times, but the cancer kept coming back. Each time she returned to school, her students would welcome her with smiles and jokes, and they say she would always crack the funniest jokes. 

“She was just so adorable,” said senior Ismael Martinez.

Former student, Carlos Cordova said “Not only did she teach us anatomy and physiology, but she taught us life lessons as well”. 

“She was down to earth and always knew what she was doing,” said senior cheerleader, Taylor Wells. 

Fellow senior cheerleader Jose “Freddy” Lopez said when you build a relationship with Mrs. Garney, you’ll come to know that she is very inspiring and pushes you to follow your dreams. 

“I have this dream of going to the Olympics,” said Lopez.  “I shared that with Mrs. Garney and she told me I could do it and when I do make it, I would need to save her front row seats.”

Students also say Mrs. Garney was a very kind and supportive person, and was a hero and an inspiration to those around her.  No doubt her memory will live with SHHS forever.

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