Pam Grunow wasnt mourning.
Her heart was filled with joy, she said. If Barry were there, hed 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.
Its a beautiful day, Pam Grunow said. Im happy.
Those were the only words she had for reporters Saturday. But to her husbands 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 didnt 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 elses expense. People are more important than things. Always do the right thing. Dont 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 Grunows 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 wasnt about Brazill.
Saturday was about celebrating a man who loved teaching but above all valued his family.
It wasnt supposed to be a day of mourning, but there were tears.
During a chorale performance, two students became overwrought. Dinora Rosales and Vonae Ware, who were standing next to Grunow when he was shot, stepped off the bleachers during a performance. They later returned to help dedicate the gym.
After the choir finished singing their songs, which included Bryan Adams Everything I Do, I Do It For You, girls and boys were seen wiping away tears.
One after another, teachers and school officials stepped up to talk about the effect Grunow had on their lives.
Brett Packard, the teacher who was the first to reach Grunow after he had been shot May 26, remembered how Grunows biggest conflict in life was splitting his time between his family and his students. He also remembered how Grunow refused to wear blue jeans to work after the school forbade students from wearing them. He played in the faculty-student basketball game but enthusiastically rooted for the students, Packard said.
Grunow didnt mind that he would live on a teachers salary for the rest of his life, Packard said.
Barry found riches in the smiles of Sam and Lee-Ann, and he found happiness in a hug from Pam, Packard said. We might have lost a friend, but we can never lose his memory.
Grunows student, Ryan Otero, recalled how Grunow had encouraged him to keep practicing basketball after he failed to make the team.
This year, he made the team, which made it to the championships. In the final minutes of the game, Oteros coach reminded the team they had dedicated their season to Grunow. They won.
Ill always have a place in my heart for Mr. Grunow, Otero said.
Grunows close friend, Mitch Krolick, said Grunow is still with him every day. Both avid fans of Jethro Tull, they had tickets to see the band in concert at Sunrise Musical Theatre.
Grunow died before the concert, but Krolick went anyway, talking to lead singer Ian Anderson about Grunow.
That night, the group dedicated their song The Water Carrier in Grunows honor, and Krolick played the song Saturday at the ceremony.
Krolick said he was asked to keep his comments upbeat and festive but said that wouldnt be completely possible.
We cant let Barrys death be in vain, he said. Some good must come from this tragedy.
Nancy L. Othón can be reached at email@example.com or 561-243-6633.Copyright © 2015, Los Angeles Times