Watertown yearbook honors those who faced death with courage - WSFA.com: News Weather and Sports for Montgomery, AL.

Watertown yearbook honors those who faced death with courage

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WATERTOWN, TN (WSMV) -

As another school year comes to a close, it's once again time for thousands of Middle Tennessee students to receive their yearbooks and have their friends sign them.

But at Watertown Elementary and Middle School in Wilson County, this edition of the yearbook was about more than fun and games. It was an early, poignant lesson about life and death.

Two people close to the school community died in the past year, including popular crossing guard Clarence Hill, who refused to quit even as his body was being overtaken by cancer.

"He was 79 when he passed away. He would still be out there in 90 degrees and pouring rain, and he would be out there in 20 degrees. He never missed a day," said Hill's daughter, Luanne Christian.

Hill only quit working when he couldn't walk anymore.

"He kept going and going, because you know you have to keep going no matter what," Christian said.

And then there was Sara Walker, an amazingly brave mom whose online journal "Savor the Day" told her inspiring story of fighting cancer and touched thousands of people all over the world.

When she died, Walker's friends raised nearly $90,000 to send her children to college and open a hospital in Malawi.

"Her M.O. was, every day, you have a choice to think positively and try to impact people in a positive way," said Assistant Principal Michael Pigg, Walker's brother.

While it may be hard to imagine a K-8 yearbook including death, sometimes death can be an inspiration that teaches us how to live.

And so comes an unexpected lesson in this unexpected year as people who lived and faced death did it with courage and resolve and purpose.

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