Victim's husband talks after Santa Fe HS shooting

SANTA FE, Texas – The husband of a teacher killed at Santa Fe High School spoke to NBC News on Monday about his beloved wife of 46 years.

William Recie Tisdale Sr. said his wife, Cynthia Tisdale, loved her family and her students.

William's health is failing, and he requires a lot of medical attention and full-time care. Bills were piling up, so Cynthia, 63, decided to become a substitute teacher at Santa Fe High School.

“She did whatever she had to, to help us pay bills. Illnesses -- it cut back on what I was able to do,” said the former Baptist Church minister.

William said he was sick Thursday night. It wasn’t until Friday morning that he realized his wife had left him a letter, expressing her love.

“When I got up Friday morning, she left me a note because I was so sick that Thursday, and she said she was concerned, hoped I felt better and that she loved me,” William said.

Those were the last words he received from his wife. Cynthia was among the two teachers and eight students killed in an art class by the 17-year-old gunman. The couple’s children helped frame the letter.

Cynthia had three children, a stepchild and 11 grandchildren.

“(She) Always watched out for me. She loved her kids. She really loved her grandkids,” William said.

Cynthia also loved her students. She worked with students with special needs.

“We were all in shock, and we still are, that someone as good as her is gone,” William said.

Cynthia will be laid to rest Friday, on her 64th birthday. Her funeral will take place at Bay Area Christian Church in League City.