Students, friends remember beloved James River High teacher Carrie Roarty

Posted at 8:39 PM, Jan 25, 2014
and last updated 2014-01-26 21:12:43-05

CHESTERFIELD COUNTY, Va. (WTVR) -- Students, friends and family are mourning the loss of James River High School teacher and JV field hockey coach Carrie Roarty.

Roarty was diagnosed with breast cancer six years ago, and died around 1 a.m. Saturday.

Carrie Roarty"She was definitely the biggest impact of my life," said Emmye Donahue, who played field hockey for Roarty.

Roarty taught health and P.E. at James River High School and coached field hockey for over 15 years.

Varsity girls field hockey coach, Slade Gormus said Roarty always stayed positive, no matter what she was going through.

"She always had a beautiful smile on her face and never let anything show on her face," said Gormus.

Those close to Roarty told CBS 6's Chelsea Rarrick that she stayed in touch with students long after graduation.

Carrie Roarty"It's amazing to meet her in 1999 and then to see her in 2014 and to know what she's been through and to see that she never changed," said Jessica Robbins, who had Roarty during her first year teaching at James River High School.

Slade Gormus and her players said it will be hard knowing she won't be back in the classroom, or on the field again, but say her legacy will live on.

"I can't imagine what next fall is going to be like. Showing up and being there by myself, I've never done it by myself so I'm not looking forward to it," said Gormus.

"It will be different, but we're going to have a beautiful angel watching over us," said Donahue.

James River held a special pep rally and dance for her in April 2012.

“It’s hard to fall when you have so many people just holding you up,” Carrie told CBS 6 reporter Mark Holmberg that day. “And that’s exactly how I feel: like the school’s holding me up. And I can’t wait to come back – and be back. Because it is such a part of me and who I am.”

Roarty is survived by her husband and two children.