St. Joseph Grade School teachers and students remembering Mr. Nate Cole

Published: Feb. 23, 2021 at 5:16 PM EST
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SOUTH BEND, Ind. (WNDU) -The St. Joseph Grade School community is mourning the loss of Mr. Nate Cole, who taught at the school for nearly 18 years.

Faculty only learned of his passing last week, but 16 News Now tells us how they’re already honoring his life while showing support for his family.

When we spent time at St. Joe Grade School, we saw how students were remembering their beloved teacher with decorations in the hallways and well wishes on the door to his old classroom. We also saw how teachers are working together for the family he left behind.

A great father, passionate, and inspiring. These are just a few words students used when describing Mr. Cole.

His former students decorated this hallway and the door to his old classroom with their memories.

“We plan to continue those efforts in the next weeks and months to come because the mourning process takes time and kind of evolves over time, so the children will have places and things they can do to work through their grief,” said St. Joseph Grade School Principal George Azar.

Azar shared a video of Mr. Cole welcoming students in his own words.

Faculty members tell 16 News Now he brought so much kindness to the school, they wanted to pay it forward and find a way to help his young daughter remember him.

“We wanted to do something for Nate and for his family. In particular to provide something that Lydia who’s five-years-old can really look back on and get to know her dad as we’ve known him as a great friend and colleague,” said St. Joseph Grade School teacher Brittany Gelchion.

That’s coming in the form of a scrapbook.

It will be filled with pictures, comments, and memories from students and staff that knew Mr. Cole over the years.

“It’s really overwhelming how many people really cared about him and were impacted by him. I’m looking forward to as many as we can get and in fact, if I have to do more than one scrapbook, then scrapbooks plural is wonderful,” said St. Joseph Grade School teacher and scrapbook designer Heather Hill.

Here’s how the school says you can submit photos and comments:

1. You can drop off / send in with a current child, attention Mrs. Hill.

2. You can send physical contributions in the mail to:

Mrs. Heather Hill

St. Joseph Grade School

216 North Hill Street

South Bend, IN 46617

3. You can type a message to be included in the Google Form linked here:

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