Trecia Cheryl Peterson died at her Malden home on Wednesday at the age of 52.
Her husband, W.L. "Squeak" Peterson said her difficult battle with breast cancer began in 2007.
When people asked why she kept working, she said, "I'm living. I can't go home and quit."
He said she loved daughter Kristy L. Peters, grandson Corey, and the kids at South Charleston High. "They were the light of her life."
He was touched when the students planned a candlelight vigil. The entire family planned to attend to see the example she set continue to shine through SCHS students.
"She always said God had a purpose for her life," he said. "I think that was her purpose, to be an example."
She was a graduate of DuPont High and West Viginia University. She held a master's from Marshall University and was a few hours away from earning a doctorate. She worked for Kanawha County Schools for 29 years as a teacher and administrator. She attended Bible Center Church for 17 years.
A celebration of her life will be held 1 p.m. Saturday at Bible Center Church, Southridge campus, with Pastor Eric Mounts and the Rev. John Appleton officiating. Burial will follow in Tyler Mountain Memory Gardens.
Friends may call from 10 a.m. until the time of the service at the church.
In lieu of flowers, the family has requested donations to the Trecia Peterson Memorial Scholarship Fund to be given to a student at SCHS who has overcome adversity. Checks with "Peterson" in the memo line may be mailed to South Charleston High School, 1 Eagle Way, South Charleston, W.Va. 25309.
Stevens & Grass Funeral Home in Malden is in charge of arrangements.