Mourners gather to remember deceased Henrico teacher

Amanda Brady
Amanda Brady

By: Laura Geller - bio | email

HENRICO, VA (WWBT) - Almost perfect. that's how loved ones describe the Henrico school teacher killed in a boating accident earlier this month.

They gathered in Glen Allen today to remember Amanda Brady who died after a boat carrying ten people hit a channel marker on the Rappahannock River.

Saturday the bells of Saint Michael's Catholic Church tolled for Amanda Brady.

They were not the wedding bells she was looking forward to.

Brady and fiance Patrick Nixon were set to be married at this very church in exactly three weeks.

Reverend Andrew Ferguson was working with the couple as they prepared to spend the rest of their lives together.

A time that was tragically cut short.

"They were perfect for each other," said Rev. Ferguson. "They fit together like a hand and a glove."

Now, instead of tears of joy, it is grief that brings these people together for a reason put simply in the words of one of Brady's students.

"I just wanted to say farewell to her," said elementary student Jalaj Sawhney.

We did not bring our cameras into the church, but inside mourners filled the room with hundreds of pictures of happy moments shared with the Longan Elementary School teacher and J.R. Tucker softball coach.

Much of the service included the sharing of memories and for the first time we heard from Brady's fiance Patrick.

He explained, she had his heart entirely and made him a better man.

Her students said they couldn't have accomplished half of what they were able to, without her support.

And her players who knew her simply as Brady, said they'll live out the dreams their coach wasn't able to

"It's always difficult when someone dies before you think it's time," said Rev. Ferguson. "But the reality is she made such an impact on lives that I think that brings it into focus. That's why we gather, so that we can make sure that we keep her memory alive and keep her stories alive."

Using a metaphor from the sport Brady loved, her teaching mentor said Amanda never sat on life's bench.

In her death she didn't drop the ball, she's simply passing it on.

The cause of the accident is still under investigation.

Authorities are testing the blood alcohol level of the boat's driver to see if he was drunk at the time.

An autopsy lists Brady's cause of death as drowning.

Copyright 2010 WWBT NBC12. All rights reserved.