Memorial unveiled to beloved teacher who died after battle with cancer
Students and faculty at South Bosque Elementary School are remembering a beloved teacher who fought a courageous battle with breast cancer before passing away last year as they return this week to the campus she served for 15 years.
"She was the best, best teacher, best wife best mom. Everyone at South Bosque's cheerleader," fellow teacher Leeann Fortenberry said.
Kimberly Wellborn died on May 26, 2017, after a courageous battle with cancer that friends and family say she faced with the same smile she greeted students with every day of her career.
Wellborn taught fourth grade at South Bosque Elementary in the Midway ISD from 2002 until her health forced her to retire in 2016.
She first diagnosed with breast cancer 2011 but was cleared the next year after chemotherapy and radiation.
In 2013, the cancer returned with a vengeance spreading to her lungs, sternum and ribs.
In November 2014, Wellborn had her sternum removed, five ribs removed and part of one of her lungs removed in an 18-hour surgery that also included a single mastectomy.
But even that couldn't keep her from the classroom.
She returned to teaching that spring and it wasn't until May of 2016 she took a disability retirement to spend time with her family at home.
Fortenberry was one of many who loved the teacher who decided to get behind a Parent Teacher Association effort to place a memorial at the school to honor Wellborn.
On Monday, one day before classes began, friends, family and fellow teachers and staff members gathered next to the flagpole at the front of the school for the unveiling of the marker surrounded by flowers, which reads "Dedicated in Memory of Kimberly Wellborn," followed by her favorite bible verse below reading "This is the day the Lord hath made. I will rejoice and be glad in it."
Wellborn's son Art said the verse was the perfect way to remember his mom who really did find job in every day.
She was always telling people how blessed she was," Art said, noting that even in her final days his mother always wrote “BLESSED” in all caps.
"Never once did her circumstances dictate her response. It was honestly amazing how incredible of an attitude she had through it all, and how she constantly declared God' goodness and faithfulness."