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Deep Run teacher's sudden death leaves students, colleagues in mourning

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Posted at 3:45 PM, Sep 16, 2020
and last updated 2020-09-17 08:28:15-04

HENRICO COUNTY, Va. -- Henrico County families were notified that longtime Deep Run High School teacher Patricia Stockdale died suddenly on Tuesday.

“I am heartbroken to be writing about something that has shocked and saddened our community,” Deep Run principal Brian Fellows wrote in an email to the community. “Ms. Stockdale was a kind, polite, and caring teacher who loved working with her students.”

Stockdale had just started her 11th year at the far West End high school.

Prior to teaching at Deep Run, she taught at Hanover High School and was a speechwriter for various corporations and organizations, according to a letter sent to parents.

In addition to being a teacher, Stockdale was also a "proud Deep Run parent."

"Ms. Stockdale was constantly researching and finding ways to include projects into the curriculum, she was a strong supporter of Deep Run extracurricular programs, and she loved wearing her Lily Pulitzer pullover. She also loved talking about her brother, who was an offensive lineman for the Atlanta Falcons,” Fellows wrote.

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“She really was an amazing teacher and she always cared about everyone,” Hannah, a former student, said. “She was such a loving personality. She always cared about everyone, especially her own kids, and kids that didn’t have her.”

Hannah, who lives with dyslexia, said Stockdale helped her overcome obstacles.

“If it wasn’t for her, I'm pretty sure I wouldn’t learn anything in that class,” she explained.

Hannah recalled speaking with Stockdale where she boasted about becoming a grandmother for the first time.

“When I saw her last December she talked about her grandkid for 10 minutes with me," she stated. “Definitely all of her kids just know, she really cared about you guys. Her kids were her pride and joy.”

Stockdale’s former and current students, along with her colleagues left dozens of condolences online following the news.

“My heart is aching today. I just feel so numb. Patty was my rock!’ one teacher wrote.

Another educator posted, “She never failed to ask about me or the things that were going on in my life and always offered a shoulder or ear if I needed it.”

“She was always super patient with our class even when we didn't deserve it and always wanted the best for us,” a student wrote.

“We are overwhelmed by the kindness and outpouring of support by the community and those that knew her. We would request privacy as our family grieves the loss of our amazing mom," the Stockdale Family told CBS 6.

The school system did not reveal the circumstances surrounding Stockdale’s death.

Henrico Police said the death was not suspicious.

Counselors and Principal Fellows will be meeting with her students and colleagues in the coming days, according to the email.