Pam Grunow

Pam Grunow speaks following the dedication of the Lake Worth Middle School gymnasium in honor of her late husband Barry Grunow. (Sun-Sentinel/Jim Rassol)

Pam Grunow wasn’t mourning.

Her heart was filled with joy, she said. If Barry were there, he’d be smiling.

The day was filled with the music of the 1960s band Jethro Tull. Photos of Grunow and his family in happy times decorated classroom doors of the Lake Worth Middle School.

A butterfly garden filled with flowers from his home graced a grassy area next to the gym renamed the “Barry L. Grunow Gymnasium.”

A gentle breeze blew through the courtyard as 100 students, neighbors, co-workers and family sat under trees to pay tribute to the slain teacher.

“It’s a beautiful day,” Pam Grunow said. “I’m happy.”

Those were the only words she had for reporters Saturday. But to her husband’s students, there was more to say.

In a rare public appearance, Pam Grunow spoke about the man she loved.

When they were out and about, Barry Grunow always stopped to talk to his students.

Some lovingly called him “Shaggy,” a character from the Scooby Doo cartoon series.

“He thought that was funny, but he didn’t see the resemblance,” she said. “Others shouted ‘Chuck,’ because they thought he looked like Chuck Norris. Barry grinned and laughed.

“But the name he cherished the most was ‘Daddy.’”

She then reminded his students of a few words he would have for them: Hustle on the court. Crack jokes, but not at someone else’s expense. People are more important than things. Always do the right thing. Don’t take yourself too seriously.

“If you enjoyed a book from his class, talk about it, tell a friend to read it,” Pam Grunow said. “Teach someone younger to love literature. Read to them.

“When you remember the fun times you had with him, he is with you,” she said. “Keep his spirit alive. Carry on what you learned from him.”

Also at the ceremony were the Grunow children, Sam and Lee-Ann, and Barry Grunow’s mother and siblings.

Never mentioned Saturday was Nathaniel Brazill, the Lake Worth student convicted Thursday of the second-degree murder of Grunow. The trial may still have loomed in the minds of those closest to Grunow, but Saturday wasn’t about Brazill.

Saturday was about celebrating a man who loved teaching but above all valued his family.

It wasn’t supposed to be a day of mourning, but there were tears.