LEE COUNTY, AL (WSFA) - Andrea Rivera says it still doesn’t seem real that her mother is gone. Her mother, Irma Gomez-Moran, died in the March 3 tornado in Beauregard.
“Days before her death I thought, and I just thought it, I didn’t say it, I thought she was a wonderful mother," Rivera said. "She was just amazing. She was a hard worker.”
Gomez-Moran’s work ethic shined at Auburn Early Education Center, where she worked as the Assistant Manager of Nutrition and Food Services.
“She worked the back for two weeks, she wanted to work the register," manager Kristy Waters said. "She wanted to learn the kids’ names and faces.”
Waters and Gomez-Moran instantly connected when Gomez-Moran started working at the school in January. She came to Auburn Early Ed from Carey Woods Elementary in Auburn.
“When she walked in the door every day, she greeted everyone in the office," AEEC Principal Matthew Bruner said. "She couldn’t wait to get down to see the kids and the kids responded well to her, too and looked forward to seeing her each day.”
The school is now collecting money and gift cards for the family. Her husband and daughter, Angela, were hurt in the storm and are now recovering.
“My sister will need physical therapy, but she’s good," Rivera said. "She will have nightmares at night. Last night, she was screaming, and she just lived a really bad experience.”
The family is taking comfort in knowing that Gomez-Moran made a big difference in the lives of those she touched.
“She was an inspiration to a lot of people. She was a great daughter. She will be missed by many,” said Rivera.
The Alabama School Nutrition Association made a donation to the family and held a moment of silence for Gomez-Moran at its recent meeting. If you’d like to help the family, you can drop off a donation at Auburn Early Education Center on East University Drive in Auburn.