Robb Elementary with countless memorial tributes in Uvalde Texas

Video shows husband visiting hero teacher wife’s memorial hours before he died ‘of broken heart’

Is it possible to die of a broken heart? The family of Irma and Joe Garcia will tell you that yes, it is. Days after a gunman shot and killed Irma Garcia in the Uvalde, Texas school shooting, her broken-hearted husband Joe had a fatal heart attack. It happened just hours after he was filmed visiting the memorial to his late wife.


Husband of Uvalde School Shooting Victim Dies of Broken Heart

Irma Garcia was an incredible woman. She was a beloved teacher at Uvalde, Texas’ Robb Elementary School. Just recently, she received the honor of being named Teach of the Year. Now, America also knows her as a hero. In the tragic shooting that took the lives of two teachers and 17 children, Irma died trying to protect her students. (1)

Irma Garcia, however, was not only a teacher. She was a loving wife and mother. She shared four children, ages 23, 19, 15, and 13 years old with her husband Joe. The pair were together for more than 25 years.

Joe Garcia visits visiting his wifes memorial just hours before his death
Joe Garcia. Image credit: KEN5

Joe was absolutely stricken with grief. A video from Thursday, May 26 shows Joe visiting the memorial of his late wife. He placed flowers next to the white cross bearing her name. You can tell by his face just how deeply sad he was. Just hours later, while at home with his family, he died of a heart attack. His family, however, says that it was more likely due to a broken heart.

Read: Two 10-Year-Old Uvalde Victims Who Texted ‘I Love You’ Will Be Buried Next To Each Other


The Details

It had been a hard couple of days for Joe Garcia. One minute, he was happy with his wife, who he adored, and his family. The next minute, his wife was senselessly ripped away from him. He was taking it very hard and his grieving was heavy. His nephew, John Martinez, spoke with the Detroit Free Press and described what happened.


“What happened was my Uncle Joe went to go leave flowers for my Tia (Aunt) Irma, his wife, and whenever he got back, he sat down at the kitchen table with his entire family, and after three minutes, he just fell over,” he explained. “They called the ambulance and I was told they couldn’t bring him back. They took him to Uvalde Memorial Hospital. I’m not sure if they confirmed his death at the house or the hospital,”

Now the already grief-stricken family is struggling more than ever. The worst hit by it are the couple’s four children, who in a matter of days have lost both of their parents. Their 23-year-old son was completing bootcamp with the US Marines, while their 19-year-old son is studying at Texas State University. Their oldest daughter is a high school sophomore and their youngest daughter is in the seventh grade.


“It just doesn’t make sense,” said Martinez. “My heart hurts so bad for my four cousins. I did hear from my little brother that my dad’s chest was hurting, as well. My parents lost family and their best friends. My Tio (Uncle) Joe would work extra hours just to provide for his family. They really are a true American family. They instilled great values and morals in their kids,”

Help A Family In Need

Martinez and the rest of their family are asking for support and prayers for their family in this horrifically tragic time. Martinez tweeted an emotional tweet about the passing of his uncle Joe.


“The pain just doesn’t stop,” his tweet began. “My Tia Irma’s husband Joe Garcia has passed away due to grief, i truly am at a loss for words for how we are all feeling, PLEASE PRAY FOR OUR FAMILY, God have mercy on us, this isn’t easy,”

Joe and Irma Garcia
Joe and Irma Garcia. Image Credit: John Martinez | Detroit Free Press

The family set up a GoFundMe campaign to help support the family, particularly the four children who are now left without their parents. They received much support, and they received $557,112 before they disabled the donation button. Martinez says much of that was thanks to philanthropist Bill Pulte, who shared on his own pages. (2)


“His Twitter followers have been so generous. And as soon as he found out about my Uncle Joe, he messaged me immediately to ask how he could help. It’s something we’ll be forever grateful for.” Martinez said.

Our hearts go out to the family of Joe and Irma Garcia. May they somehow find comfort in each other in this terrible time.

Keep Reading: Uvalde parents, community members call for chief’s resignation at emotional school board meeting



  1. Video shows husband visiting hero teacher wife’s memorial hours before he died ‘of broken heart’NY Post. Yaron Steinbuch. May 27, 2022.
  2. Husband of Texas teacher killed in school shooting dies of heart attack.” Freep. Phoebe Wall Howard. May 26, 2022.