CARMICHAEL (CBS13) — A beloved San Juan Unified music teacher who died from coronavirus complications was honored through song at the Mercy San Juan Medical Center on Thursday.
Students, staff and families along with nurses joined in together — six feet apart — on the top of the parking garage. They sang the Harry Dewey Elementary School song, which was written by beloved music teacher Russ Abraham. He taught there for nearly 30 years before retiring.
Abraham recently contracted COVID-19. He had performed the song over the years – which he wrote to a younger generation of students.
“He helped me raise my boys for 13 years,” Mark Hammer said.
Gavin Fancher was in Abraham’s music class. He says Abraham struck a chord with students.
“He would have games included with his teaching and I thought that was cool because it made it more fun,” Fancher said.
Another student brought a stuffed frog named “Fliegel” Abraham used during instruction.
“We would sing along and he would hide [Fliegel] – and we would hide him – in different areas and we would sing songs and change the pitch high and low depending on how close we got to finding him,” said Zac Morton.
Students say he taught so much more than just music
“He taught us inclusion, loving everyone and how important everyone is to that.”
Mercy San Juan nurses caring for Abraham applauded the performance.