GALVESTON, Texas – There were tearful hugging, singing and sharing of heartful moments following the tragic loss of a beloved wife, mother, and longtime Galveston ISD teacher 61-year-old Desiree Hartnett.
“She was a gift of God. I appreciate y’all coming,” said her husband Greg Hartnett Sr. “It’s such a wonderful thing. Of course, I sort of knew a lot of people would be here because that’s the love she had for everybody.”
A vigil was held at the Ball High School Thursday evening honoring Hartnett. She was an ESL teacher in the district for 31 years and her students and family said she made an impact in every classroom.
George Sanchez said Hartnett was the reason he returned to school after being expelled more than 15 years ago.
“She was just special,” Sanchez said. “She went to my house, knocked at the door, and said ‘I’m going to court with you. I’m making sure you get back in school.’”
Hartnett was stabbed to death earlier this week. The suspect is her own son Greg Hartnett, Jr. The family spoke of the need for forgiveness but for the focus on the life Hartnett lived.
“I knew so many of the people who are here from being in my mother’s classroom over the years,” said daughter Catrina Dickson. “She had a group of students who she wasn’t even teaching anymore who wanted to be around her. That’s how I want her to be remembered.”